Thursday, January 8, 2009


I have been back at work for 4 days and feel like it has been forever since I left Guinea! Weird feeling.
Wow lots to catch up on! Sorry for leaving you all hanging.
I will post in a sections so you don't get too overwhelmed by my ramblings.
This ones about Roume
We were able to head to Roume (or I think its actually spelled like Room, but I think thats wierd and have been picturing the spelling 'Roume' in my head, so um deal with it)as planned because everything had returned back to normal after the President was buried on Friday.
We rented magbana (mini-van type bus) and loaded it with too many people, and strapped our stuff on top and drove down to the port of Conakry. It was another beautifully sunny hot day, and when we got to the port we were greeted by the welcoming smell of dead fish woohoo!
There was a market set up there with people with kiosks, or with just a basket of goods following people around selling fresh fish of all kinds, fried plantains, oranges, tshirts, hats, cloth. We watched the market bustle, but most of us decided to stick together as we were holding all our stuff waiting for the go-ahead for us to load our boat.
When they told us we had an hour boat ride on a motor boat, I figured it would be some sort of thing with a roof, and maybe an indoor spot for us to sit, but as we got down to the water I realized this was hard core real boating. We were going to be riding in a 20 person dugout canoe basically. With a motor on back. AWESOME!
We all trudged through the trash-y water and hopped in and were on our way! All of us fotes(white people) covered our heads and arms with shirts and scarves as we were warned of the hot African sun reflecting off the water and scalding our skin. We were pretty funny looking, Janet had a fantastic Lawrence of Arabia look going on. Most of the Africans did not know how to swim and our dance teachers and a few of the girls in the family had spent very little time on the open water, so it was a treacherous trip for some of the girls. We passed by some Portugese ships of war that had been shipwrecked in the 1970s which were beautiful and looming.
When we got there, the boys all swept us off our feet and carried us to shore, how romantic.
Roume was...amazing. I pretty much almost got depressed because I didn't feel like I was enjoying myself enough.
After a bit of lunch which Mmomma had brought for us (i love how they just carry that shit around, who needs tupperware when you have a big bowl, a serving tray to cover it with and a cloth to wrap it in?!) (then again, how did none of us get food poisoning?!??! is the temperature danger zone an american conspiracy?!?!)
We then almost immediately went to the beach and swam for a couple hours. We were serenaded by some Lebanese tourist blasting some tunes from a nearby cabana.
Then we had dance class in the sand. Holy shit, hardest thing ever. The teachers happened to bless us with the dance Djole that day which had a move where you twirl around on one foot, a bunch of times, we all almost bit it every time that step came around.
But probably one of the best moments on the trip was after dance class when an Akon song about being together came on just as we were all hugging saying how much we appreciated eachother. it was touching and probably suuuper corny for everyone around us but Akon will forever remind me of Guinea (they looove him there)
There were no mosquitos on Roume so it was really pleasant in the evening. A bunch of other tourists and Rasta-Guineans were on the island as well, so they gathered at the bar and just about got us all second hand high as we relaxed on the beach a few feet away.
We then hung out at the beach again the next day and had another grueling but successful dance class on the beach.
We returned later that afternoon to Conakry, and got to ride in the LoveTrain Magbana!!! It was a van with windows cut out like hearts, they put all our stuff in the back seats and we all crowded on tiny peripheral benches in the van. To complete the love train picture the driver had a horn like a train, which he used just about everytime he merged er um cut someone off which was about every 19.5 seconds. It ended up being a pretty long ride home because of traffic, so the driver decided that a great shortcut would be to drive on the wrong side of the road for about 2 miles! I mean why not? theres no traffic there?! and who is gonna hit the Love Train?!?!
We made it out alive thankfully and were so happy to return to our compound - o cause i forgot to mention there was no running water and their toilets/showers consisted of little outhouses with holes in the ground (very much like squat pots in Japan!)
My memory card was full before we went on this venture, so I will be relying on others for pictures of this.
I'll write about New Years later.

1 comment:

  1. this was a great story telling...good work! the lovetrain magbana sounds awesome!