NY Times: Today, the big children will eat, Cynthia, 15, and Guellor, 13. Tomorrow, it will be the turn of the little ones, Bénédicte, Josiane and Manassé, 3, 6, and 9.
Of course, the small ones will fuss. “Yes, sure, they ask for food, but we don’t have any,” said their mother, Ghislaine Berbok, a police officer who earns $50 a month. There will have been a little bread for them at breakfast, but nothing more.
“At night they will be weak,” she said. “Sure, they complain. But there is nothing we can do.”
The Berboks are practicing a Kinshasa family ritual almost as common here as corrugated metal roofs and dirt streets: the “power cut,” as residents in this capital of some 10 million have ironically christened it. On some days, some children eat, others do not. On other days, all the children eat, and the adults do not. Or vice versa.