Sunday, June 21, 2009

caught up

I finally caught up!!! Enjoy!


Sao Tome!!! As we got off of the plane, I could see fishermen getting ready to go fishing for the day. It was 6ish in the morning...(One thing to know is that the day starts early in Sao Tome. The sun rises early in the morning usually around 5ish. So people are getting to work by 6 and done by 3 or 4. The sun sets by 5 or 6 and it completely dark by 7. )  It was about 70 F and breezy. The airport gave the impression of a small island seculded from the rest of the world.  (as it is being an island and what not) The airport was very small. The whole airport is about 1/4 the size of terminal 5 at O'hare airport. We went through customs and got our bags and met our friends Danny and James. (They will be explained later). We then headed to the place that we will be calling home for the next 8 or 9 weeks. As we were driving to our house, the beauty of Sao Tome was all around. The main street we took into town was right on the ocean. Imagine driving on lake shore drive but much closer to the lake. That is how it felt driving. I could probably get out of the car and after the road would be the shore. The city itself has an Africa meets Europe meets island feel to it. Its tough to explain but I'll try. If I put you on a plane and didn't tell you that you were coming to Sao Tome, you would be able to know that you were in an African country. The structural aspect indicates European design. The bulidings are worn down but similar in design to the buildings found in Lisbon. The way the streets are designed favor Europe. With all this mixed in, there is still an island feel to it. The island has a personality that I wish to explore even more before I leave....Yea so we get to the house we are staying at and its really nice! ( a blog for another day) The house is located just across the street from the Gabon Embassy. Maybe I'll stop in Gabon before we leave...hahaha.... There is a basketball court, movie theater and library 3 to 4 minutes from our place. The ocean is about a block or two away. We are in a perfect location. We unpacked and then headed to the market to get some food. Everything here is fresh. The bread is made daily, the veggies are picked daily, and the fish are caught hourly. Yea..good stuff. After the market we got back to the house and started unpacking the xo laptops that we were going to distribute. We found that we recieved solar panels that we did not order and that we were short 6 laptops. (out of 100)  This is an extra long entry so I'll save the rest for tomorrow.


2nd day in Sao Tome... It feels like its been a while...In a good way. Most of our time is spent getting the house togehter and planning meals. We also started to brainstorm some ideas on how we are going to improve the distribution of the laptops. We've decided to do one site. That means we are going to choose one school to distribute the laptops at. This will help us focus our attention on solid group of children and teachers for the remainder of our stay.  We also got to meet more people. We met Evlis, Jame's brother and we met Elcio (pronounced Elsu), another friend of Pauls. These guys helped Paul in previous years on other projects he had in previous summers. It helps to have so many people invested in our success. The more people that want us to succeed, the more likely it is that we will. What else happened.....Oh Yea... we went to get power strips and the guy that owned the store was...Nigerian...ibo in fact... from Anambra state (same state as my family is from) I greeted him in ibo and he was really happy. He gladly responded and after conversing for a bit he invited us to a block party that his area was having. Later on after making dinner, we went to his house to see him and we talked about why he was in Sao Tome, Nigerian food and America. Few focus points of the conversation:
-Nigerian food makes you strong
-Everyone still loves America
-Their are a lot of Nigerians in Sao Tome

Overall, interesting conversation....oh yes...I've come to the conclusion that anything is good if its cooked well. Sea snail cooked the right way tastes just like chicken.


Happy Fathers day daddy and to any other daddys that are reading this blog.

So today, I woke up pretty early agian. Not sure why, I think im still getting use to the time. A lady was knocking at the door. We had a discussion about how our gardener is leaving the rubbish outside and she was trying to keep the neighborhood clean. I of course agreed that the gardener shohuldn't be leaving the trash out but it was the mere fact that we were having this conversation that startled me. It was an individual trying to improve their environment on within their own means. That was a great start to my morning. After that, I sat around reading the Art of Happiness by the Dali Lama and some other guy. (Thanks Maurine, that book is helping me a lot). Later in the day, we went to Ned's house. Ned is the director of STEP-UP, the NGO that we are partnered with. Ned is an interesting guy. He is orginally from San Fransisco and has worked all over Africa. He owns ocean front property with a dock that goes right into the ocean. It was truly a great place to visit. It was also great to meet Ned. I look foward to hearing interesting stories from him about life. After I was at Ned's place, Ashley and I went with Elvis to the soccer match that the Prime Minister sponcered. It is a very interesting tournement as the teams are created according to politcal affliation. Here is an equation that explains it all....
let politics =p
let anything else=f

p+f= fighting

The womens match went without much action. The teams were not as good as i thought they were going to be. When it came time for the guys to play, james brought the two police officers. The other team decided that they were not going to play if the police officers were there. so we didn't see a mens soccer match.

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