Blogs from Guinea, Africa - page 8

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Africa » Guinea August 10th 2006

Hey everyone! Africa is awesome. When I first arrived in Conakry it was overwhelming...we got off the plane into thick humid air, gathered our tons of luggage in the tiny airport, and piled onto a bus to go to the Conakry PCV house. I looked out the window at the crowds of peoply in the busy neverending marketplace that is Conakry...old and young people selling fruits, vegetables, fabrics, soap, pots and pans, meat (freshly slaughtered), cheap flip flops, used clothing from the US, and just about everything else. A "store" could range from a mat on the ground from which a woman sells peanuts to a hut made of scrap tin to a small square building. Women walked with babies on their backs and buckets of water on thier heads, turning to stare at the bus ... read more

Africa » Guinea April 18th 2006

Mali was rich in its own way. Villagers weren't quite as warm and hospitable in some places, but they held to their integrity. In a place where people earn $400 a year, I wasn't able to purchase a pup for $100 USD, because they follow the traditions of the Bedouin who brought Islam to them. "You seem like a very nice man, and if you could stay a day or two in the village, I'm sure someone would gift one to you." Translating that into a US Economy, we're talking about at least $5000. Know of anybody with that kind of integrity in the States? Beautiful people, beautiful spirits... Pictures will do the talking again.... read more
Pulpit
Arches
Breakfast

Africa » Guinea April 10th 2006

I remained with the "trapper" and his posse for a short while longer, but the promises of arriving before dawn always went unfulfilled. Africa is on a "whenever" timeclock, but the western world does not sync with that. Back in the the States, the May 1st - 10th deadline was coming up fast, and I still hadn't seen even one of these birds. I had to find out where they had gone to. Then I had to trap them, and then I had to acclimate them, get them used to people, etc., so that they'd ship well. Once the first were caught, everything became more complicated because it had to be kept safe and tended to while I went out to find and trap more. Once all were found, they'd have to make it to Dakar, ... read more
Gutters
One of hundreds of stalls
Biker Bar

Africa » Guinea » Conakry April 5th 2006

After a hazardous journey we finally arrived in Koundara. Disoriented, high on fumes and coughing from dust, we paid a small boy to guide us to the closest housing. The next morning we left with the first transport destined for Labe', the principal capital of the Fouta Djalon and the third biggest city in the country. A full day journey in a kaput bush taxi, only breaking down twice as we traversed the Koliba river on a hand hauled ferry and climbed the winding bush tracks into the highlands. The Fouta Djalon is an extensive area of undulating hills and lush valleys. It's not high enough to be mountainous, but high enough to offer pleasant climate with more in common with north European summer than the African hot season fathoming the lowlands. The lusty inflation of ... read more
Boys
Mariama Kamara
Girl

Africa » Guinea April 5th 2006

To this point, things have been pretty tense. Remember, this wasn't a leisure trip, this was a live safari, an expedition to find, trap and return with 10 falcons. There was a very limited window afforded by having to please 3 separate governments as well as all of the international laws involved, and the date to have the birds in Quarantine back in the States was also set and narrow. While it was still quite an adventure, I didn't have the luxury of wasting time. This was business, and had taken many many months of preparation and bureaucracy, years of planning. All culminated in a win or lose trip - this trip. Were we successful? Read along and find out! Leaving Conakry, I felt better almost immediately, and began to lighten up. Though still very much ... read more
Into the Mountains
From the plateaus
Then by foot

Africa » Guinea » Conakry April 2nd 2006

Where were we at? Oh, yeah, the overpriced airplane trip to Conakry. Dakar is just barely sub-Saharan, and relatively dry. Guinea is at the beginning of the rainforests, and the city itself is a finger jutting out into the ocean. I'm sure it keeps a few people cooler that way... 3 or 4 of them, if they turn the air conditioning on. I was greeted by an online acquaintance of the team - supposedly a trapper, a the only person who hadn't tried to get them to send money. He was accompanied by the airport veterinarian and some other fellow. I received an honored welcome, shuffled on past the customs agents who would have tried to extort funds from me. The fellow, like most in Guinea, hoped to gain a position in the good graces of ... read more
Sunrise in the Delta
African Art
Beauty at the doorstep

Africa » Guinea February 9th 2005

Leaving Conarkry, the first vehicle I travelled in poisoned me with fumes, in the second car the wheels fell off! OK , I tell a lie, it was only the one wheel. I've left Guinea now, but this blog is going to about the journey from Conarkry across the country to the border with Mali. I also had to give up on this blog at the first attempt because of illness. FRIDAY 4th FEBRUARY At this stage I was still in the capital Conakry. I changed hotels for somewhere half the price I had been in the day before. The Hotel Galaxie also has a much better location - right in the centre of Kaloum on 5th Avenue. I wandered around and visited the Marche Niger. The market sells everything. In general the city centre juxtaposes ... read more
Kankan market
Siguiri
Siguiri

Africa » Guinea February 3rd 2005

Just before entering Guinea I had an email from a friend about a BBC report of a coup attempt in Guinea. He said, was I going to Guinea Bissau rather than Guinea. I made it clear that I was going to Guinea and that I considered Guinea to be a safe and stable country - the human rights record is not good but it has avoided the descent into Civil War that most of it's neighbours have suffered from. So, what about the coup attempt? It seems that someone shot into the Presidential motorcade and injured one of the bodyguards. Some of the reports that I heard suggested that there never was a coup attempt - that it may have been stage managed as an excuse to arrest political opponents. Whatever the truth, the billionaire diabetic ... read more
Diaoube (Senegal border town)
Guinea
Guinea




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