Blogs from Guinea, Africa - page 4


Africa » Guinea » Conakry May 21st 2008

22 April 2008 - Random Notes My boss was here for a day a is was wonderful. I was able to vent all my frustrations and worries. She calmly reassured me that they were all normal and I'd been handling them the best I could. She said she picked me for my village because I was a little more outgoing, a little more prepared, both of which surprise me. I don't care if she said that about all the volunteers, it still meant a lot to me. A random kid just showed up at my house with 4 mangoes. I don't think I've ever met him. Mamadou Sadiou, 12 years old, 6th grade. He's sitting in silence watching me write now. I was craving mangoes, so it was a pleasant surprise. But, I think I'm allergic ... read more
I don't like bikes.

Africa » Guinea April 18th 2008

Woke up in the morning and went to Christ Orphanage. The kids didn't have class today so we sang and they played with my hair for a solid three hours which was both wonderful and disgusting at the same time...problem is I know EXACTLY where their hands have been. Some EXCITING news from the orphanage; Emily's parents donated money to Christ for her birthday! With the money Raymond was able to buy a temporary school building to use until the new orphanage goes up! THE KIDS HAVE THEIR OWN SCHOOL BUILDING! It's such a wonderful blessing and such a great feeling to know that one small gesture can change the lives of so many children and can make a huge impact on Raymond, one of the kindest people I've met. They should be moved in by ... read more

Africa » Guinea » Labé April 11th 2008

24 March 2008 I’ve been having some bad days and getting dis-spirited. I often feel like my French is getting worse and that I’m not learning any Pular. I always feel like I’m not doing enough and often that I’m doing nothing at all. I was horrified when I realized in one week I’d finished reading 3 books (compared to the 5 I read in the first two months.) But then there are little signs of success here and there. My elderly neighbor, Nenne Kanne, who only speaks Pular (to others, but mostly to herself) has started using some French with me including “merci” and “c’est bon.” This may seem insignificant, but if you knew this woman ... The little girl who lives with Nenne Kanne, also named Oumou (that’s my name here) use to run ... read more
Health Center
Cafe Where I Hang Out
Cell Phone Service Tree

Africa » Guinea » Labé March 16th 2008

24 February 2008 Abdelrahmane just told me that heaving breathing outside my window every night was sorcery and that when he hears he runs away. Scared out of my mind, I kept asking him questions After about 20 minutes and thanks to the English-Pular dictionary that some missionaries made, I learned that “bird of sorcery” means owl in Pular. This revelation made me feel better until I remembered that I was taught that owls go “hoo,” not breathe heavily. But then again, I’m not an owl expert. Maybe Guinean owls don’t go “hoo” and just breathe really loudy and creepily. 6 March 2008 Things I’m doing that don’t surprise anyone at home * Not using toilet paper * Reading lots, re-reading Mountains Beyond Mountains for the 18th time * Trying like hell to learn Pular * ... read more

Africa » Guinea February 16th 2008

February 10th We are now sitting in the airport at Paris and have been here for about 3.5 hours. The flight overnight went very well. Our next flight should board within the next hour, as long as there are no delays, and then on to Conakry. Even though we were still international and didn’t leave the terminal, we had to go through security again. It was the first time I activated the detectors and received the pat down and wand. I have a metal loop on my shirt and it probably triggered it, although it didn’t in S. Africa - odd. We should arrive in Conakry around 9:30 local time. It has been a quiet and almost boring day. Listening to people speaking French around me, I can understand one or two words, Chris is understanding ... read more

Africa » Guinea February 16th 2008

February 14, 2008 Happy Valentine’s Day, my husband wished me in the morning. Wow, couldn’t believe it was February 14th already. Valentine’s day is not a big deal here and did not see anything advertising it. Our ‘romantic’ day was spent traveling around all day looking at Bauxite plateaus. It was a fun day bumping up and down over a portion of the south permit (the permits are too big to see in a day). We began a day looking at the sampling procedures at the yard. Took a look at the splitter and saw the men putting samples of the material into the chip trays. Everything looked really good. Around the project We travelled over much ground and saw lots of bauxite plateaus, a few quite big. They are interesting to see, as they are ... read more
Chris pointing at one of our plateaus
Bauxite Plateau
Girls of Madina Junction

Africa » Guinea February 16th 2008

February 15, 2008 Another long travel day, this one much longer than the others. We left quite early and the total trip took 11 hours. We left Koba early, with a quick, formal visit to the Soux-Prefect. We then continued along the way backtracking to Kindia. From Kindia, we headed towards Kouroussa on a paved highway. One of the large centres we went through, and stopped at for lunch, was Mamou. It appears to be similar size to Kindia. The route took us up into the ‘mountainous’ area and finally into the savannah, where Kouroussa lies. We arrived just at dark to the house and office in Kouroussa, and saw Alpar, who we had met last year in Bamako. It was so nice to see a familiar face. Met a few others, then sat down for ... read more
Power Lines
Largest Baboa Tree I have Seen
Looking at chips

Africa » Guinea February 16th 2008

February 13, 2008 Travel day. We left Conakry around 7:30am to head to Koba, to visit our bauxite projects. The trip took us through the major centre of Kindia, and through many small villages. We stopped to fuel up at Kindia and joined many others looking for gas. We were lucky and were not stopped there long. We did stop at a store prior to this to pick up propane and snacks. Poll (pronounced more like Paul) and Aguibou headed across the street leaving Chris and I waiting. A few of the kids near by were fascinated with us, others were a little scared. It has been interesting to see the mixed reactions. A couple of young boys kept waving to us and we would return their waves. Very cute. A stop in the town of ... read more
Working Hard

Africa » Guinea February 16th 2008

February 12, 2008 Another fun day in Conakry. A lot of driving around, which is wonderful, as I was able to see a lot more of the area. More traffic, more markets, and lots of people, as well as long lineups at the gas stations. Apparently, there is a possible shortage of fuel this week due to a delayed shipment in, and word has gotten out to everyone, so cars were lined up about 20 in a row, often, 2 rows, side by side, in front of the gas stations. Caused a lot of traffic headaches. We stopped and viewed a couple of potential office spaces, then stopped at a house that the companies may be able to rent and convert into office space as well as sleeping areas for company travelers. This house is located ... read more

Africa » Guinea February 16th 2008

February 11, 2008 A day of meetings! It was a fun and interesting day. We were driven around Conakry by Paul, the driver. It is quite common to have a driver, especially in a rental vehicle. Another interesting aspect of driving around, there is a lot of horn honking. Honking usually is used to let people know you are coming so don’t cross the street or watch out, if they are walking along the road edge. There are people everywhere in Conakry. It is amazing the level of activity. People are so busy. The other neat thing about Conakry, is that it is on a peninsula, surrounded by ocean. It is wonderful. There are interesting looking fishing boats and people selling fresh fish along the side of the road. It is an amazing town, although traffic ... read more

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