Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Week in Review

This week has been an interesting one to say the least.  On Sunday afternoon Landry and I went back to the house of the uncle who hosted the cultural wedding for a meeting with the bride’s side of the family.  It was time to divvy up all of the money and goods that had been given by the groom’s family.  We didn’t expect anything ourselves, but as the brother of the bride, it was expected that we attend.  We ended up carrying a bunch of plastic chairs down a hill to a storage room on the side of the house.  The room was made of cinder block with one light inside, but we were all seated outside of the room and a green mat was placed on the ground.  Landry’s dad had a list of the items given, items that had been requested, but were missing, and a stack of money.  Each item was discussed in great detail and often times the discussion went well off track.  We were there well after dark listening to the back and forth discussion before we were allowed to pull the cars around and load everything up.  I didn’t take any pictures because I didn’t want to seem like a tourist at the family event, so hopefully my description is enough.  We ended up carting back several cases of Heineken and soda, a huge jug of red wine, two machetes and an ax, a big tin basin full of liquor bottles, cooking oil and rice in containers larger than what you might find at a Sam’s or Costco, twenty-five different 6-meter pieces of fabric, 25 silk scarves, a hat, and an embroidered suit jacket.

After packing up the goods I thought we were done, but then we headed back up to the house to listen to more talking for at least another hour.  As best I could tell very little of it was about the actual divvying up of goods, but they were speaking part in French and part in Fang, so I lost the ability to follow the conversation fairly quickly.  Fortunately a TV was on in the background and watching that helped to pass the time a bit quicker.  I think by the time we left it was nine or so at night.

Monday we went to see Landry’s sister at work and I was able to use their Internet connection, which is much more reliable than the one at the cyber café.  I spent my time trying to catch up on email and what’s happening with everyone on Facebook.  Then we took a walk around downtown and settled on a small café for dinner.  Below is a picture of my croque madame and white wine (this pic is for you, Jacqui!).  The food is so good here!

Croque Madame (bechamel sauce, ham, egg, and gruyere cheese) and a bottle of wine for $5!  :-)
Tuesday I went to get my hair done.  For those of you who have known me for a while you know that I’ve run the gauntlet with hairstyles, but it’s so expensive to have done in the US.  I was SO excited to get back to my braids.  Below is the first of probably two styles that I’ll get while here and it only cost $24!  Gabon is actually a fairly expensive country to visit for many things, but hair braiding is not one of them, which makes me a very happy traveler!

Sadly, I wasn’t happy for long.  I’d been having some stomach issues, which isn’t all that odd for my first week of traveling, but then that turned into chills, full body aches and weakness, a headache and fever.  Tanty quickly determined that it was malaria and gave me medicine.  Malaria!  I guess my third visit to Africa was the charm since I’d been able to avoid it the first two times.  Cathie, if you’re reading this, ignore all my talk and take your meds!  Though I must say, the malaria medicine works almost instantly.  By the time I woke up on Wednesday morning the weakness, fever, and chills were gone.  I was still a little achy, but apparently that’s to be expected and today I feel great.  Next time I’ll be sure not to forget my bug spray, which I’m convinced played a big role in sparing me from malaria the first two times I was here.

Now, if my suitcase arrives from Turkey tomorrow morning my week will be complete!  Yup, that’s right.  Three of our four suitcases arrived on Monday and the one that was missing had ALL of my clothes in it except for one dress and two pairs of underwear that I threw in a different bag last minute…and thank goodness I did!  Another flight arrived on Wednesday and still no bag.  They keep saying it’s because people are coming to the airport with 6, 7, 8 bags, but I just think it’s stupid that they don’t track excess baggage in some way.  So I, who only brought two bags, am stuck without my bags for a week, when someone who brought eight gets all eight upon landing??  And then yesterday when we went to the airport, bags that were missing from Monday’s flight had arrived, but mine still hadn’t!  We had more than a word with the rep from Turkish Airlines yesterday who promised me on Friday that our bags would be here Monday.  He said he sent an urgent message to the baggage office in Turkey to ensure my bag would arrive on Friday…we’ll see.  Thankfully, my dress for the civil wedding and my shoes were packed in a separate bag, so at least I have that if nothing else.  And the adventure continues…

Our niece, Lyn, just because she's so cute!

1 comment:

  1. Malaria, really? Thank God you're okay. I'm enjoying reading about your adventures. Stay well, Suzen, and have lots of fun.