Blogs from Guinea, Africa - page 2


Africa » Guinea » Conakry September 4th 2012

The lines extended around the block. Fortunately, it was a sunny day with no rain at all. I was told that there were 3500 people lined up around the block. There were about 500 crew members and day workers doing security, taking histories, doing vital signs, escorting, clean-up, etc. Yesterday was screening day for Africa Mercy. It was held at a large building called the People’s Palace. A Palace it is not! There were three floors. We use a part of each floor. In the center was a large auditorium. There was a long narrow table in from of each row. It reminded me of a college classroom. We used several large open areas for the surgical screenings and we had tents outside for the dental and eye screenings. There are also offices and a large ... read more

Africa » Guinea » Conakry August 26th 2012

I first stepped on Guinea soil last Thursday morning. I walked down the gangway with a bag of trash from the dining room. It was raining lightly. Though I loved the sail here, it was great to arrive after many delays and six days at sea. I like taking out the trash so I can go out. I tie the large black bags up when they are half full so I can carry them out myself. It has rained every morning since arriving, sometimes a drizzle and sometimes a down pour. The afternoons have been bearably warm and humid. Yesterday, we welcomed the day workers aboard for an orientation to the ship. The advance team did some training before we arrived. 85% of them are from Guinea which is required as part of our agreement with ... read more

Africa » Guinea » Conakry August 17th 2012

It is a clear sunny day at sea. I am sitting on the bow. It is just awesome. There is a super tanker in the distance. There are crew members who do pirate watch. Hopefully we will only see more tankers or fishing boats. We left Tenerife after some minor delays yesterday about 11.00. We have moved ahead one hour for Conakry in Guinea. Will be arriving on Wednesday. We will get briefings starting next Monday. I have been at the end of a mission. Now I am looking forward to the beginng of a new one... read more

Africa » Guinea » Kankan August 16th 2012

The rain continued to thunder down as we pulled in to the Guinea border police check point. We jumped out the car and made the dash to the immigration office but our efforts were wasted as we were soaked to the skin within seconds. By now the spray from the rain hitting the road danced up to our knees and we looked fairly pathetic as we entered the dark immigration office looking like drowned rats. Guinea is a desperately poor country with barely functioning infrastructure evidenced by the lack of electricity for up to 20 hours a day. The gruff police officer processed our passports using a feeble torch that barely lit up the huge battered ledger that he was writing our details into. We trudged back into the rain and walked back to the car, ... read more
Guinea 2
Guinea 3
Guinea 4

Africa » Guinea » Mamou May 7th 2012

Monday Day 44 We're in Guinea! And we're pretty sure we're the first overland truck to come here! We've seen some of the most friendliest people this morning. We'd camped only 50km from the border last night and left our campsite at 07:15, spotting baboons - our first wild animal! What we think was the border was situated right next to a large school and children started amassing on and around a mound in the corner of their grounds, waving and yelling. One bright little spark got the idea to run out the school gates to get closer to us and half the kids followed. Looking down from the truck, we started counting in French and they all joined in, counting all the way to fifty. When we applauded, they all joined in and we continued ... read more
Antelope for sale!

Africa » Guinea » Conakry May 8th 2011

There comes a time in a persons travels in Africa where one starts to think, ‘That’s it I’m through with pretending I don’t have much money. I’m sick of deluding myself that I can’t afford to pay for that extra space in the bush taxi or a flight to save a days travel. It’s time to act like a rich westerner.’ For some reason this explosion of resources in the financial sector happened with my comings and goings with the Guinean capital Conakry. After the 20 and a half hour bus ride to get into Guinea and waiting for a couple of hours a few days later for one last person to fill the already overcrowded car. It was up to the westerner to pay up and get the front seat all to himself for the ... read more
Iles de Los
Cathedrale Sainte Marie
Cathedrale Sainte Marie

Africa » Guinea » Labé May 6th 2011

We were in pursuit of the rarely seen Fouta Djalon ranges. Driving around in a motorbike my guide and I could see the lush green pine trees mixed with other varieties of trees. All were surrounding the road and the hills in the distances. Locals pop up every now and then and they look gobsmacked. Kids yell out all day “Porto!” (In the local language) which means, “White skin!” It’s something that happens throughout Africa and it’s classed as okay to say. Even adults have called me white man. In Australia if a child was to say “black man” than it’s like, ‘Oh great my child is racists.’ “Theodore don’t say that!” It’s refreshing to hear people saying it as they see it. And for a country pretty much unknown to most of the world it ... read more
2 - Ditinn Falls
3 - washing at Dounkimagna Dam
4 - Drafts a popular game

Africa » Guinea » Labé June 19th 2010

I was scrambling up the side of a Guinean mountain when…when I realized the faint game-like trail I was following had disappeared under a small avalanche of rocks. Looking back out across the valley I had just traversed, the few tiny huts and peanut fields of the last village before the mountain were barely visible amongst the vast green forest below. After unsuccessfully searching the area for the continuation of the trail, it seemed the options were either to return down the steep slope, defeated, back to the last village, or try to push forward and get a vantage point from the mountain’s top, which it seemed couldn’t be far off. I had hiked over 30 km that day and the only people I had encountered were in the villages, so the thought of two ... read more

Africa » Guinea » Labé September 28th 2009

Disclaimer: The contents of this page, and all links appearing on this page, do not represent the positions, views or intents of the U.S. Government, United States Peace Corps or Peace Corps Guinea. Kindly do not republish anything found on these pages without explicit permission of the author. I wake up at 7:30. I rush out of bed. I have to meet someone at 8. I quickly get dressed and run up to the roof of the Peace Corps office. I begin praying the morning service of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. The guard tells me later it's the first time he's ever seen a volunteer pray. I sneak glances into the courtyards of my neighbors. Women are getting water from wells. Men are in front of their houses brushing their teeth. Everything is ... read more

Africa » Guinea » Labé July 17th 2009

The rainy season is finally here! There's no more school, so all the college and high school students come back to the village for the vacation. No more ridiculously hot weather. And my favorite, no more relying on a well 15 minutes away for all my water. Now it's delivered to me, straight off my roof. :) Far from being a vacation time, everyone is working more than usual. Practically everyone is in the fields most if not all of the day planting corn, rice, peanuts, cassava, sweet potatoes, and okra. All of this is done by hand, the only assistance being that of a hoe. Even I'm working more than usual. Because everyone's out of school, when they're not planting they want to learn English. So I've been having about three private lessons a day ... read more
Aissata & Adama Keita
The Boys

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