Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mom and I decked out for the dinner at the US Embassy

Dancers at the church

The infamous Christmas Tree
See the flowers? see them? see them?


On new year's eve, we were lucky enough to be invited to the American embassy to eat dinner with a few big wigs including the American and French ambassadors. It was pretty cool.

The new year found us in my dad's Methodist church!. The service started in 2006 and ended in 2007. In the last minutes of 2006, people came up to the altar to share the successes of 2006. The we began to sing in a steady crescendo to African drums and clapping. Needles to say, there was much dancing as well. By the end of the count down there was much shouting, kissing, hugging and crying.

It was a very different new years celebration but a very interesting on.

You have to get a load of my mom's Christmas tree. She has used the same tree for about 20 years. Every Xmas, she yanks it out of the ground, she spray paints it (this year it was red) and decorates it. At the end of the season, she plants it back in the ground in her garden WHERE IT KEEPS GROWING only to be yanked out again the next Christmas! It even began to flower just before I left, NO JOKE!!!

No, those are not coconuts, they are bats the size of plump chickens. Like yeah!


I am no National Geographic photographer so it was very hard to take pictures of wild animals. Plus, when in the Jungle, most critters flea from man...I do not have the patience to sit in wait to get a good shot so I took pictures of more willing participants. Plus most critters made me want to pick up my skirts and run the other way...not pick up my camera

Mufasa? no, just a kitty cat that meowed in the local tribal dialect. African cats say "Meow, meow, meow...astonishing!!!!

Aaah to be a carefree kid again....

a morning cup of coffee with your toes in the sea...

More leisure

On this map you can see the island of Bioko on the left and the continent portion of Equatorial Guinea


The region of Equatorial Guinea located on the continent simply complete the marvel that is Bioko, the island where the capital, Malabo is. The climate there is less humid than on the island, there are way more beaches, less mountains and the air is very different. The vibe is more misterious and primitive...people are friendlier, and enjoy a quiet remote village life.. Bata is the capital of Rio Muni, the continental region.


Hakuna Matata! Don't bother asking anyone anything important because you can never get straight answers to most basic questions. Things here happen because the happen, when they happen and period. Do not look for explanations...
Question: "Where is the Restaurante Tropicana?"
Answer: "Over there!" (pointing with the chin)

Question: "When are we going to the Restaurante Tropicana?"
Answer:"yeah, right about now" (but didn't he say that 2 hrs ago??)

Question: "How does this work?"
Answer: "Well..." (at this point you might want to pull up a chair and marvel at the many ways one can combine words to say absolutely nothing)
No matter, I believe our workoholic society could take a page from this Guinean leisurely attitude. At first, this was very frustrating to me but after about 3 days, I stopped looking at my watch, I let go and simply allowed the culture to lead me. This was the first time in a zillion years that I spent more than 2 consecutive days without an agenda...and guess what? I did not even break out in a rash or nothin'....It is the art of doing absolutely nothing, yet getting many things done. I will take this home with me.


Poisonous of course, why not...even better, perfectly camouflaged!!. "During the dry season there are many snakes" someone says "yeah, what a relief" I mutter. Well lucky for me, I am staying in the city where the people live and not here in the farm where the many snakes live....