Canoe in the Congo

Canoe in the Congo
Another successful restoration. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do much with this image as it is a low-resolution scan that was made 15 years ago by my cousin who no longer has access to the original print.
I love this image of my grandmother - my infant uncle in one arm, rifle in the other hand. Toddler aunt in the foreground. On a canoe in the Congo. Circa early 1940s.
She was an amazing woman. Born into a wealthy family in Belgium, instead of choosing a life of privilege and marrying someone socially-acceptable in the upper class, she followed her own path. She studied medicine and became a doctor and then moved to Java to offer humanitarian aid. It's there that she met my grandfather - a dashing, dangerous adventurer and scoundrel. Definitely a bad boy of the time. They moved to The Congo and started a coffee plantation from nothing. Their first house was mud bricks with no electricity and no plumbing. I have pictures of granddad bathing the kids in a stream.
I wish I could have met her. Sadly she passed away in her forties when my father (the youngest) was just seven. A few later Granddad died of tropical disease leaving the seven children orphaned and sent to different foster families. 

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