Friday, January 14, 2005

A lazy, hazy day

January 14, 2005
Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
N 3.74949° E 8.76031 Elevation 122 feet. Temp: 87° F

A deep sense of indolence has overtaken our expedition members here on our last day in Equatorial Guinea. We’ve toured the highlights of Malabo, and the younger members of the expedition hung out late at the discos and are feeling a little sluggish today. The Harmattan, the dusty wind from the north that seems to be carrying much of the Sahara with it, has given the air a uniform sandy hue and taste. The locals are also taking advantage of the dry weather to burn grass and vegetation, so the dusty air is mixed with smoke. It makes me long for the rain that two weeks ago, that I thought at the time was so tiresome. I am very difficult to satisfy.

Some of our group made a quick visit this morning to an orphanage in Malabo – kind of a reality check on live in Africa. The rest of the day was spent organizing and cleaning up the expedition’s gear. Some will go back to Arcadia University in Glenside, the home of the two professors who organized this mission. Much goes into a lockup at the National University of Equatorial Guinea, where it will remain until later in the year when Arcadia sends students abroad to study here. My personal gear all has a grimy tinge to it that I hope will come out with a brush and detergent.

If I did not have some obligations to finish writing for the newspaper today, I would have joined our group curled up on the grass beneath the awning on the ExxonMobil soccer field where our gear awaits the arrival of a vehicle to take it to the airport tonight. The plane departs in the first hour of Saturday. This journey is drawing to a close.
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