Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Settled in Bangui


Yesterday I arrived in Bangui. As we flew in over CAR there was dense rain forest everywhere and for ages this is all there was except for some tiny, tiny villages scattered around the rivers. Then suddenly the Ubangui river, which separates CAR from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), appeared and I could see Bangui spreading out on the left hand side of the river as we flew in from the south-west. Beautiful indeed. Luckily there were so few clouds which allowed me to see a part of this fascinating country from above. After a long, long voyage and three stops in Amsterdam, Nairobi and Douala I was tired and warm but happy to eventually arrive. I got picked up at the airport by my landlady’s staff. Not only did the person who met me take me to the apartment but he also took me through the hustle of immigration, customs and getting the luggage without any problems. I didn’t have to wait in “line”, I just followed this nice man through everything while he spoke to the custom and immigration officials in Sangho (lingua franca in CAR) which I do not understand at all. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick up a few words during nine weeks in the country. Amazingly none of the bags I had checked in at the airport in Stockholm had disappeared along the way. 

Although I have informed my contacts here in Bangui that I have arrived I won’t start to work until next week. I’ll take a few days to adapt and get familiar with the town which is more like a large village. People are extremely friendly and helpful. I really feel welcome and like what I have seen this far. The town is small, small and dusty with red earth everywhere. Most of the houses are only one storey buildings. This and the lack of paved roads adds to the impression of being in a village (rather large though with around 700 000 inhabitants). I am now writing from a café with WIFI, I walked here from the house and it was a sweaty walk I can tell. This is where I’ll go to post on the blog and the connection works perfectly fine so I think I will manage to post at least twice a week as planned. Given that I have something interesting to say that is...

I am really happy to be here and excited to start to work next week. Until then I have hopefully finished all the seven (!) baguettes I mistakenly bought this morning. I asked one in my landlady’s staff to buy me a baguette and an avocado, he came back with seven baguettes and three avocados. Well, that means I won’t be hungry for a while...

4 comments:

  1. Salut Gabbie! Alors et le Francais.... le gens parlent plutôt en leur langue ou en Francais? Bonne chance and keep posting!

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  2. Les gens parlent francais mais pas autant que le Sangho. Mais ca va, ca va. Et merci!

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  3. Bilder. Vi vill ha bilder Gabbi! /Magnus

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  4. @ Skyttedoktoranden.

    I will try to post pics but theinternet connection has not allowed me to do so this far.... Patience!

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