National Geographic : 2005 Sep
effort-which included eight university-trained Congolese botanists, 20 Mbuti, and six villag ers to help with cooking, carrying, and camp chores-we were helping train the next gener ation of Congolese scientists. That evening, like every other at Edoro, should have felt peaceful. As the shrill notes of a hyrax faded away, Kayo began plucking his thumb piano, and Tambo, beside him, tapped a hollow accompaniment on an aluminum pot 98 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * SEPTEMBER 2005 held between his knees. But the Mbuti were alone with their music and laughter. The rest of us were huddled in a tight circle around our only radio, which one of the university assistants was hold ing up, twisting it right and left to shake out the static. He switched stations, from Swahili to French to Lingala. The story was always the same: "The Banyamulenge are attacking the refu gee camps on the Rwandan border. Mobutu's military is fleeing west. Refugees are fleeing east.