Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sisqo de la disco

No explanation needed.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Pop Culture

I get called Justin Timberlake on a weekly basis by equatoguineans. I am guessing thats the only other time they have been familiarized with the name Justin (as opposed to Justino). The fact that I am white surely helps.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

8 days to go

So at the moment we have no power or water at our house. Why? Because one of our neighbors didn't pay their electric bill so they literally cut our cable yesterday morning. But I do have battery on my laptop and the neighbor I am stealing internet from has power as well apparently. Needless to say I am ready to make my way to Europe.

Other than bathing in my own sweat, I have been relatively busy finishing up work for my classes, which will be done with by next week. Every Saturday the guys in our house have been playing pickup rugby, which is surely a good time. We play at Marathon Oil's compound with a mixture of expatriates from all over the world. That being said, I am surprised at how much I have learned about other white, English-speaking countries while being here. I have never met so many English, Australian, and South African people in my life. Definitely provides cultural perspective that I wasn't expecting to find whilst living in Africa.

One thing I am going to miss about this place is the food. Since time is running short I have been eating out a lot, which here, isn't really that expensive if you know where to go. I am surely going to try and recreate some of this cuisine when I return home. My favorite dish is likely fried plantains with spicy rice and mayonnaise. Sounds crazy but its delicious.

Here is an interesting anecdote that I have been wanting to share but have been forgetting to mention: About a month ago, we ran into a Nigerian friend who exchanges money for us. Whilst exchanging pleasantries he told us that his wife had recently given birth to a baby girl. When we asked how she was doing, he responded by saying "She has 2 days. Maybe she will die. We don't know, this is Africa," and started chuckling. Interesting...

We have also been experiencing people coming to our door and trying to instigate altercations. Notably a mute guy who lives across the street and tried to mug our resident director over the weekend. Other than that one of the girls was pick pocketed on the way home from school last week.

I think thats all the interesting stories I have for now. I am hoping to have some pictures up of some of our social events, rugby games, etc. pretty soon because that kind of stuff makes up the bulk of what I am doing over here. In the meantime enjoy this picture of the city and its cathedral.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Buena Vista

The rain cleared up the air enough last night enough to see Mount Cameroon across the Gulf of Guinea. The picture doesn't do it justice-this is a big mountain. Also, FYI, I took this picture illegally.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bata and Diversions

I have been meaning to get these pictures up for a while but its just so hard to get things done here. For the first time in a while I can say that we have both electricity and water so life is good right now. So here we are:

Here is some West/Central African white sand. This section of beach also serves as a highway when the tide is out. It was very clean surprisingly. Looking down this beach is the furthest south I have ever traveled or seen with my own eyes. 1 degree N latitude.
Downtown Bata has a very nice waterfront promenade, and a few public places with fountains and whatnot. Much cleaner and more inviting than Malabo, with a lot less people.

For a moment one would almost think they were in a developed country.
Eh, why not? I love pigeons for some reason, especially when they coo. We caught one in a mist net whilst in Moka- they are very soft. Also, last May I spent the better part of a day watching/feeding pigeons while waiting for a ferry in Corsica. They hold a special place in my heart.

And for those willing to indulge, I have a special treat:

In other news, things are going well in Malabo. We had a really good rain tonight, which prompted me to go outside and run around in the street. I was joined by a few Africans, which I thought was pretty interesting since they must get really tired of rain during the wet season. Nonetheless, I had a great time bailing water from our front porch to prevent our living room from flooding. I love rain, and especially cold, hard rain during the night. I live for things like that.

Sometimes its hard not to feel invincible.

I couldn't help myself, I really like this picture of the bros balling at the Colegio in Luba.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Another night on the road

Landing in mainland Africa.

Coming to Bata from the airport. The roads are a lot less crowded and in much better shape than in Malabo.

Life is pretty tough at the moment living at the Hess compound. I will consider this my spring break.

Friday, March 7, 2008

From the mainland.

We are staying at the Amerada Hess compound south of Bata on mainland Equatorial Guinea. The compound is right on the beach, and has just as many luxuries as a several thousand dollar a night resort. The landscape is beautiful.

Pictures from Pico

Good example of alpine scrub land atop Pico Basile.
The three bros: myself, Drew, and Joe holding it down.
The very top of the mountain, with a crater in view below.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

March has arrived

Life in Malabo is going well. The rainy season is quickly approaching, as evidenced by the occurrence of two rain storms in the past 4 days (and the only rain I have seen in Malabo since being here). And when I say it rains, it bloody rains- the clouds open up and drop something mean. But, I welcome the rain because it gets rid of the suffocating dust- allowing us breathe and see. Malabo is a much more inviting place without the the dry dirt collecting everywhere- I'll get some pictures up soon.

Last Saturday we traveled to Pico Basile- at almost 9,900 feet above sea level, the highest point on the island. Due to the military and telecommunications installations on the peak, we had to get a special permit to visit for the day. It was really cold and reminded me of a brisk autumn day back in North Carolina. I have a few decent pictures, which I will post when I get around to it.

This weekend will be an exciting one. We are being flown to mainland EG to visit Bata for a few days. Although I have been on Bioko for more than two months now, I haven't been to mainland Africa yet. We are all really excited about it, and for good reasons, because Rio Muni is supposed to be a completely different experience. I will take a picture of anything that moves.

So in addition to getting the Pico Basile pics up, I want to try a "day in the life of theme" followed by the Bata update. Over and out.