We began our morning at the hospital as it emerged slowly from the mist. Women were washing clothes in an old bathtub and as always in the Congo people were coming and going, including this beatific mother and child.
It's rare that I feel too tall in a group photo.
The village was bustling even at this early hour and I was eager to dart down lanes and peep inside open doors, but we had a busy day planned. We made instant friends with children, and seconds later had to say goodbye.
We drove about 15km into the jungle, along barely passable roads. People were walking in both directions, laboring with basins piled high with bananas on their heads, or pushing bicycles loaded with sacks of cucumbers. When they saw the car they'd leap aside, pressing themselves into the head high grass. In the wet season, these villages are completely cut off.
We went to pay our respects to the village chief, as is the custom. What we didn't know was that he had just lost his youngest daughter to the measles. She had fallen sick with a fever and rash. They carried her on foot to the nearest health center, but she died within three days.