c6 angola project

september 15
September 16, 2009, 9:07 am
Filed under: *Travel Diary

tonight i hit my first moment of total brain function paralysis.  i just have been totally unable to figure out how to take a bus from luanda to benguela – to just find the information. its not posted anywhere and i haven’t found someone yet who knows. i heard that the bus leaves from a street call rocha pinto – which i vaguely remember as the road through the musseques that we drove in on from the airport. the word is that the busses leave from a place on rocha pinto where there used to be a round-about, which isn’t there anymore.  now it’s a big confusão (confusion or mayhem) and that’s where the bus leaves from.  so we go early in the morning to look for a place on this road where there isn´t anything anymore and instead is chaos and try to catch a bus south…sounds like a plan, actually.  i guess my brain is functioning again.


P1030181  P1030173 P1030155P1030168

sissi, tiago, and jim at the fortaleza


me taking their picture


tomorrow night we’d like to go out on the town.  go see some photo exhibit with katia lopes – friend of franks from barcelona and then hook up with paulo, a friend of jims who he met in cape verde last year. a young guy involved in the theater.  we’d like to find a kuduro party before we leave the city. not a night club, but a local party.  we definitely need to do this before we leave the city

we met erika eckeskog yesterday.  a tall handsome and lovely swedish woman who arrived to luanda three weeks ago to begin a two year contract with a swedish ngo called afrika grupperna.  she has been spending each weekend at the beach learning how to surf and during the week traveling to the provinces to check out organizations they are supporting who deal with women´s rights and HIV prevention and awareness among other things.  she was great.  she gave us a list of names and contacts and had some great ideas.  she also was super generous and offered us to stay in the city in the spare room of afrika grupperna.  which we might do tonight because it´s in town and if we go out late, it will be easier to get back there than trying to come all the way out to projecto nova vida.




projecto nova vida


last night, jimbo´s wife drove us back from the city. her mom lives out here. there are some tensions at home so she moved in with her mom and their 2 year old boy.  jimbo made the joke last night that he needed to write a book about how good he is in his work in post war angolan conflict resolution and how much of a mess personal life can sometimes be.  but it was pretty amazing that given whatever problems they may be having, she still drove us back to projecto nova vida.  jimbo said that in africa you don´t only marry the wife, you also marry her family.  we told jimbo it´s the same everywhere in the world.

ok – so today tiago drove us in to luanda along with a musican named antonho who goes by the name papa grua or papa crua.  rap and r&b singer.  they dropped us off at the press office. our contact rufino wasn’t there, but someone else hooked me up with my press pass and said jim can’t get his until medina press writes a letter. so we are trying to get simao milagres to fax something tomorrow to pick up the pass before hitting the road. it turns out that claudio manuel, the boyfriend of a friend of friends in vienna, who i’ve been emailing for the past two weeks knows milagres. his mom knows him. milagres was the best man in some wedding and claudio did some work with him through SME. it´s a tiny world.  we will see claudio tomorrow or in benguela over the weekend.  he actually will be driving down on thursday because of the holiday and offered us a ride. but i think we want to take the bus… i think.



after ciam, (the press office), we took a long dusty stinky walk up to miramar along side the construction zones of to meet erika. jim fell asleep at the table while we were talking and we sent him off to nap on a chair. later he woke up and was in top form. crude and funny and off the cusp.


a couple of random thoughts and moments:

– jim said that when he was in cambodia he saw this look in peoples eyes that he sees here. people who have seen things and done things and have touched a dark dark place.

– girls, like 12 years old, keep winking at me and giving me the thumbs up.  i don’t know if this is just a way of saying hi or if they are flirting with me

– jimbos wife drove us home

– sissi called to check on us, to make sure we were ok. around 8pm after dark

– tried to find elinga – the bar/ theater that claudio told us about. but it was under construction.  lots of people have been telling us about it.

– when jim sleeps, it´s like he´s shadow boxing demons. 

– mosquitoes feasted on me last night.  i took my malaria pills this morning…


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de-mining truck downtown and a blue and white candongueiro


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