Blogs from Guinea, Africa


Africa » Guinea » Conakry February 4th 2020

Ero stato avvertito: la Guinea e' difficile. Anni ed anni di malgoverno e di incuria hanno portato questo paese sull'orlo del collasso, ne hanno ridotto all'osso le infrastrutture ed hanno generato un ambiente in cui la corruzione e' l'unico sistema che consente alla gente di sopravvivere. Conakry, la capitale, e' una citta' difficile, ero stato avvertito. Sovraffolata ed intasata dal traffico sta per essere velocemente inghiottita dalla montagna di rifiuti che la sua popolazione produce quotidianamente; non vorrei mai dover pronunciare parole cosi' pesanti ma questa citta' rischia di conquistarsi, secondo il mio parere, il titolo di piu' sporca al mondo tra quelle da me finora visitate, ma forse e' stata solo un'impressione iniziale che mi e' rimasta stampata nella mente. La Guinea e' comunque un paese ricco di risorse naturali tra le quali spicca su ... read more
Sept place sportivo
In canoa attraverso il confine
Vietato gettare rifiuti...

Africa » Guinea April 13th 2018

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” -Jack Kerouac They say that people whom travel to the Guineas need to have a perverse love for the humble pothole. We learned this the hard way and so many more lessons around the perception and reality of overland travel. I think that there is a certain misconception that travel carry’s an almost romantic tone. It is joy and happiness wrapped into one sweet package that somehow you can control and dictate. Now this is not a completely untrue statement however it needs to be laced with a certain caveat. This caveat is that between these bouts of joy are stretches of pain, hostility, uncomfortable situations and just general uncertainty. For most onlookers they ... read more
4wd is the only way to travel!
No electricity in Gabu so head to the tea-guy
Hand pulled well for our hotel in Koundara

Africa » Guinea » Kankan November 29th 2015

29/11/15 a drive day through the north of Guinea experiencing not only a definitive change in landscape but climate too, a dryer heat which lends to dusty dirt lifting the orange dust everywhere, it's quite invasive. During the day we travel through a small quite poor looking town district known as kemetae in which from its fort held resistance against the French 7 years after their acquisition of Guinea began. A dryer part of the country with open grassland and Savannah like bush for most with a visible upgrade in agriculture, by that I mean segregated areas for actual cropping and more livestock. We cover 260K and bush camp @ 17:00 road side in what looked to have been an area to muster to / load cows onto transit judging on all the pads. 30/11/15 we ... read more

Africa » Guinea » Kankan November 25th 2015

28/11/15 Some confusion between the directors of the chimp research centres after they appear to forget to find the chimps before we are due to set off, in due Africa time we set off an hour later to find the chimps on the move during a family dispute less than a mile from camp. Not many photo opportunities due to the thick jungle and silky chimpy gym skills but see them I did. We leave the chimps at 11 and drive for an afternoon trek to a Guinea Vine Bridge, led from a village we are guided by local Michelle, 40 mins across the customary beautiful countryside to what used to be a common sight yet due to wide spread deforestation very few bridges survive. After we head back to N'Zerekore for our nights stay in ... read more

Africa » Guinea » Conakry October 27th 2012

I am leavng the Africa Mercy for Vermont in a few minutes. This is my last messge. Thank you for visiting.... read more

Africa » Guinea » Conakry October 24th 2012

Last Sunday, my friend, Saliou, invited me to meet some of his family and his Imam. Saliou is a Day Worker in the Dining Room. We took a cab from the port and then walked about a half mile. This was followed by another short cab ride and more walking. Saliou knows I do not like to ride on motor scooters so fortunately he did not suggest that mode of transport. Cabs here are collectives. Find one that is going your way using the correct hand signal and pay a set fee. It is shared along the way with others who are going in the same direction. Saliou knows French and English well and acted as my translator. I met his sister, husband, and young son. They share a house with other people. We were invited ... read more

Africa » Guinea » Conakry October 20th 2012

“Move Your Body for Jesus” was sung by our lead singer when we visited the Solidarity Village for the Handicapped. Even though that is what Africans do here, I had not heard the expression sung before. The children joined in first. They were not shy. They jumped up and down and moved to the rhythm of the drums. There were also praise songs in French, English, and the local language. One handicapped man danced on his hands, others with crutches. We taught them, “Celebrate, Jesus, Celebrate”. (They were probably Muslems. Only 8% of the country is Christian.) During a music break, we played “Duck, Duck, Goose”. We held the children and played hand-clapping games. It was dark with only a sliver of a crescent moon and occasional heat lightening. It is dark at about 6:30 these ... read more

Africa » Guinea » Conakry October 13th 2012

The orphanage I visited this week was about an hour away from port. It is easier to get out and about now. There are no demonstrations or unrest at present. Traffic is still a nightmare. But it is easier for the venders to go from car to car selling everything from peanuts to plungers. The older children living at the orphanage were in school so we played with the little ones for a couple of hours. There were seven of us from the Africa Mercy Crew and a translator. We arrived via Range Rover. The concrete house seemed to have about six rooms on the ground floor. There was a mosquito net over each crib. Some of the children have HIV and/or other medical problems. Malaria and cholera are on-going problems especially during the rainy season ... read more

Africa » Guinea » Conakry October 7th 2012

The babies were beautiful, healthy and well cared for at the orphanage for abandoned babies. Three will be on their way to homes very shortly. There were twin boys who have been adopted by people in Ohio and a girl who will be going to Alberta, Canada. It takes about a year before an adoption is completed. When babies are abandoned on the street, they are most likely to be taken in by people who will eventually use them as servants/slaves. They will get no education and will not be considered part of the family. The director of the orphanage is trying to make information known about the place so that unwanted babies will come to them directly. Now, it is mostly police or other officials who will bring them in. The Home is about an ... read more

Africa » Guinea » Conakry September 17th 2012

There were demonstrations scheduled for today in Conakry to protest a U-Tube video. I don’t know any more than that. We are under curfew and only the Dental and Eye Teams were allowed to leave port. At about seven his morning, I went to the Dental Screening Site to help with crowd control. There were five of us who had the time off from our regular jobs along with some hired security people, who were local and spoke the language, who went on site. We went via a Mercy Ship Land Rover though the place is about a 10 minute walk from the port on a side street. It was partly cloudy. (It is still the rainy season here.) I looked very official in my yellow vest with the Mercy Ships logo. There were about 300 ... read more

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