Winding down

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November 18th 2011
Published: November 18th 2011
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18 November 2011, Mongomo

Tomorrow morning, I will hop in the truck or van, head for Bata, have lunch there before boarding the local airline to Malabo. Once in Malabo, I will be shuttled to a hotel, probably the Tropicana again, and try to get a room where it will be silent so I can sleep.

Then, on Sunday, I have the whole day to kill before being taken to the airport for my 10.30 PM flight to Lisbon, via Abuja and Frankfurt. I will try to see what to do for the 4 hour layover in Frankfurt though I am sure the Germans will have something in store for me to see to it that I have to run to catch the last leg my flight.

On a more pleasant note, the atmosphere in the camp is relaxed now as the project manager left for his vacation on Tuesday. Everyone seems to be in much better spirits and the food has already improved. What does that tell you?

I must say, the last week has managed to be pretty bizarre. Tuesday, the police showed up at the gate and loaded all of the “local” help that was being used at the project. They did not load the real locals so there were some people working, just not our crew. It was pretty quiet and relaxing though the crew was missed. They all were released later in the day as they did have paperwork to be here. Why did the police not check that before loading everyone into the bus and taking them to the jail?

This seems to be a countywide sweep as they got the workers from most of the town and we heard that it was happening in Bata as well. Even the places in Mongomo where we would buy chicken were closed as there seems to be only one being operated by a native Guinean. That said, most of the workers picked up were released very quickly as their company reps showed up and worked out what was wrong. Everyone, of course, but the workers from our project. The only worker to be released quickly was Abdul, the driver. The project manager went and had him freed right away so he could be driven to Bata and then go on his vacation. The rest of the boys had to wait. Class act, eh?

I took off early Friday to get my things in order, packed and paperwork printed. It sure is a pain that the airlines won't let you check in before 23 hours ahead of your flight. I will be in Malabo by that time and not have access to a printer. Remember, the Tropicana is not one of the Hiltons or Sheratons of the world. Yes, I did write Lufthansa a nasty note about that. It is not the first time I have had this sort of problem. Try renting a car with only a confirmation number and no printout!

Oh well, this time tomorrow, I will be well on my way and by this time Monday, I will be home!


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