Dust

Strainhunters Almost LIVE Thread - Congo Expedition 2016 !!!

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Hello  hunters!!!

I am glad to be back  with some really nice content for all of you!!

As you must have noticed already the Hunters have been back on the road lately with the Vice team, and they have had a tough and long road in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa !!

 

So i have been trying to collect as much infos as possible for you about the trip, it was of course impossible for us to do a Live Thread this time for security reasons, but Franco wrote for you a nice summary of the Expedition and some photos From Jackson and Gil the two photographs of the team, and Simon. I edited a small video as well for you guys to see a little bit how congo is looking! You will not see the fields this time as we reserve them for the movie and to keep the full surprise! But Franco as always did a great job filming all his moves and it gives you the opportunity to have a small preview of whats to come!

 

I hope all of you will enjoy this and stay tuned for the big release in september/october hopefully!

 

STRAIN HUNTERS CONGO EXPEDITION 2016 - Teaser article

 

 

Almost 3 years went by since our last expedition in Colombia, and it was with great pleasure that Arjan, Simon and myself boarded a flight from Brussels to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, on a cold morning last February. 

Strain hunting is not easy, especially when it has to be filmed and documented professionally. After the Colombia expedition, the first of our travels produced by the world-famous documentary channel Vice, we immediately started working hard on selecting destinations for the next adventure. Nevertheless we were struggling to get the type of good links on the ground that are needed for such missions. After many unsuccessful attempts at several destinations, finally a really good opportunity popped out, concerning the DRC: a friend of Simon, who wishes to stay anonymous, offered the possibility to work closely with Congolese local authorities, to obtain an authorisation to film rural areas in the vast African country. After months of preparation, by the summer of 2015 it became clear that the expedition to Congo was really possible. Thanks to the cooperation of the Congolese Minister of Communications, Media and Culture we got authorisation  to film a documentary on the rural communities of Congo and their main medicinal plant: cannabis.  All of this with the support of the local police and the army. In the history of Strain Hunters it was the first time we ever obtained an official authorisation, and we were all very excited about it. Preparation for our mission started full scale: travel documents and visas, vaccinations, equipment, gathering of maps and GPS equipment, and all the other necessary preparations. Like in Colombia, also for Congo we had the privilege of having the production done by Jackson Fager and his Vice team, one of the most professional documentary maker and cameraman out there. 

Jackson selected for the mission cameraman and drone-pilot Chris—, and sound-man Ramsay —, two very skilled professionals, and great travel companions. We were also able to connect with Christo, a Rastafarian from Belgium who lived in Congo many years and speaks the local N’gala language fluently, and agreed to guide us during the expedition, together with local friends Kabo, a French-Congolese local fixer; and Kaza, a local Rastafarian involved with the local FERACO (Federation of Congolese Rastafarians, recognised by the government and with over 60000 registered members). Simon, Christo, Kabo and Kaza met in Congo already a couple of months before the mission, and scouted the areas we were interested in, looking for links and for cannabis fields.

So we go back to that cold Brussel morning, when the group of 7 hunters met at the airport and boarded a flight to Kinshasa, where Simon, Kabo and Kaza were already waiting for our arrival.

As we landed it became immediately clear that our contacts were at the top level, because we were picked up at the airplane door by military escort and driven directly into the presidential lounge. There we had some drinks, waiting for customs formalities to be taken care of, and I was even allowed to smoke a quick spliff right outside, on the airport tarmac, looking at the planes parked. It felt unreal, and it was the first sign that Congo is a cannabis-friendly country. The very sad colonial history of the country, dominated by the Belgians for over two centuries until 1965, is not to be overlooked when trying to understand the Congolese position on cannabis. Officially cannabis is illegal in Congo, but the only laws forbidding it are old colonial laws, never really applied since the independence. Congolese have a great Rastafarian cultural tradition and they use cannabis since ancient times as a medicine, religious and recreational aid. It is one of the African countries with the highest cannabis use between the population, especially in rural areas where medicines are rarely available. 

Congo has been thorn apart by a long civil war, started during the 1960s and never really resolved until very recent times. Over 30 years of internal conflict, fuelled by Russia and the USA during cold war years and later on by the race for the local abundant mineral resources, has left the country with very little infrastructure. The main roads are in bad conditions, and distances are immense. The Congo river, one of the largest in the world, functions as the main highway from the capital Kinshasa all the way to the equatorial province, with canoes, boats and barges navigating restlessly the over 2000 kilometres of calm, murky waters.In the central and southern parts of the country the monetary activity is dominant, with mines extracting all kind of rare minerals and precious stones. 

We had a very detailed travel plan in mind, covering the three main areas where cannabis is produced in the country: the area of Bacongo, between the capital Kinshasa and the Angolan border; the northern area of the Equatorial Province, around the city of Kisangani; and the area around Mbuji Mayi, in the mining district in the middle of the country.

We spent the first 2 days in Kinshasa, visiting Feraco headquarters and gathering information on the local landraces of cannabis, the world famous Congolese Red and Congolese Black. Then, the real adventure begun. 

It was three weeks of travels, emotions, and great findings, through one of the most amazing countries I’ve ever visited in my life. 

It’s hard to describe Congo, everything is extreme there. Nature is on steroids; the jungle is lush and impenetrable; the sun is hotter and more intense than anywhere else because it’s at the equator; the rain falls so hard that no protection can keep you dry; the people can be the kindest and most hospitable or the most aggressive and hard to deal with, according to the circumstances. And the cannabis… the cannabis of Congo is truly amazing. It’s one of the oldest and purest African landraces. Cannabis was introduced to Northern Africa from Asia, with the silk-road, and then was brought south into the African continent with the Bantu migration, spanning over 1000 years from 1500 to 500 B.C. Congo is one of the places in Africa where the local landrace stayed very isolated for hundreds of years, maybe more. The combination of several factors ensures this precious situation: decades of war made the country virtually unaccessible to tourists and travellers, avoiding the “hippie trail phenomenon” typical of other areas. Congolese people have always consumed cannabis in large amounts, requiring a steady local production. And finally, Congolese produce enough for their own internal consumption, avoiding importing cannabis from other places, thus preserving the landrace. 

The Congolese landrace in both its expressions of “red” and “black” is a very tall, lanky sativa, with a very high THC and THCV content and very low in CBD and CBN. It has a very minty, fresh flavour and a giggly strong high, very creative and inspiring, almost energising. 

The mission was a complete success, we were able to retrieve large amounts of local seeds from selected individuals in the fields, in 3 different regions of Congo. And we made what I believe it’s going to be the most exciting and interesting documentary ever, thanks to the competence, passion and talent of Jackson and his team at Vice. 

Stay tuned, HBO will broadcast it between September 2016 and March 2017, part of the “Vice on HBO show”. After that it will be online on youtube.

The hunt goes on. I’m already thinking about the next one. 

Fullgas.

 

Franco Loja

www.strainhunters.com

 

 

 

 

 

And some photos

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That's it for the moment Hunters i hope you enjoyed this little teaser and remember there is much more to come real soon :D:D

 

Have a good smoke!! 

 

 

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Amazing expedition coming, great job Dust!! :drinks:

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Many tears, but I see hope !

 

Fim

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Great Job Strain Hunter Family! :drinks::drinks::drinks:

 

Can't wait till the Documentation is released. 

 

Much love and till Irun!

 

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Cant wait! Love these videos

execelent worh congo team

PEACE

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Hi Hunters,

 

great reading and happy that you guys spent a good time in my country. I am an Italian guy, born and raised in Kinshasa, and I have been looking for good strains around the town of Kinshasa since 15 years now. 

I hope That you guys found the good congolese Black ? I have found it only two time and it was a great experience smoking it !! In bas congo they call it diamba chocolat. 

there is also in the Bandundu region a landrace that is very light green (kawasaki green) that have a very spicy taste and uplift energizing high. maybe for the next time.

Well a tried many time to contact the crew to say that if you need a contact in DRC I am there, unfortunately my message never reaches the good person.

Hope if you come back we could meet.  

Can't wait to see your video. I really appreciate the work you are doing to preserve all these unique landraces. Congratulation to the team.

 

Peace out 

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these pictures was from last year. 

It from the equatorial region near Bumba, before Kisangani on the Congo river.

I just wanted to share the pictures. I also do BHO extraction here.

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Wow!  This is going to be an amazing documentary.

I am so happy that you have been able to experience this trip and moreover that you are all back safe and sound.  RESPECT!!!

I hope that both the best and the worst of the trip had been captured on film and audio, and that the full force of the emotions can be presented in the documentaries.  If it was good, show how good it was.  If it was hard, show how hard it was.  This trip seems like a life-changer.

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Excellent destination. Love the pictures and the people there. Good work as always !

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On 03/06/2016 at 5:43 PM, Zanguli-ya-zamba said:

these pictures was from last year. 

It from the equatorial region near Bumba, before Kisangani on the Congo river.

I just wanted to share the pictures. I also do BHO extraction here.

11245233_10153345785713185_1503833432_n.jpg

11256462_10153345785718185_1492863528_n.jpg

Natural buds you guys are the best

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I love SH documentary 

 

I feel great looking cannabis grows around the world

 

Thx for all

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Now this is what I call a proper expedition! Ex-Zaire is an unpredictable place with many ups and down... it can't be compared to anywhere else! 

Glad you guys made it and I am truely excited about what you are going to do with those Bangi seeds you brought back. A very good smoke!

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Hi Guys,

Can't take the suspense of waiting, it's november and I'm hunting for a bit of news when this fine documentary is coming!

:sorry:

Another question:

The Blond rasta guy with the green shirt, is that Fabian?

Happy hunting!

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happy to see the land and the people. showing how they live tells the story. 

looking forward to the whole documentary :)

 

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Hello Hunters,

 

I have been trying to find the vid but its not yet available ...can anyone help to find it, or is it only on hbo/vice.

 

thanks in advance

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They look great companion, it will be a good harvest :)

Thanks for sharing

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At the moment it's only available on HBO/Vice

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On 4-7-2017 at 11:40 AM, jan.gh said:

At the moment it's only available on HBO/Vice

Been looking for it on HBO ..its not there ....

Too bad really want to see this one !!

 

any idea when it will be available ..on dvd or online =

 

ganja xl

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On 26.2.2017 at 2:30 AM, 8daysaweek said:

How could I become a member of the strainhunters Team?

You are.  You're already here.

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About us

Strain Hunters is a series of documentaries aimed at informing the general public about the quest for the preservation of the cannabis plant in the form of particularly vulnerable landraces originating in the poorest areas of the planet.

Cannabis, one of the most ancient plants known to man, used in every civilisation all over the world for medicinal and recreational purposes, is facing a very real threat of extinction. One day these plants could be helpful in developing better medications for the sick and the suffering. We feel it is our duty to preserve as many cannabis landraces in our genetic database, and by breeding them into other well-studied medicinal strains for the sole purpose of scientific research.

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