25 July 2008

Bom Dia from Benguela

Twenty-four hours in Benguela and what a change of pace from Luanda. There are no traffic jams, no constant threat of being mugged, and the air doesn't smell as funny. I'm here for five weeks to learn Portuguese, both to reprogram the Brazilian version that I learned previously and to learn how to use the language in a more professional work environment. I'm living with a local family in a household run by Lolita and sharing the house with two of her daughters (Erica and Chris...pronounced Chrish, both somewhat close to my age) and her son Nandu, who turns 14 next month.

There is a ton of road construction going on here, mostly as result of the ruling party's attempt to do well in the upcoming legislative elections in September. After 27 years of civil war you can imagine there is a lot of work to do. Some new roads are already opened, but most of town is still covered by the most potholed roads I've ever seen. You really need a 4x4 just to drive through town, although some intrepid motorists try with whatever vehicle they have available. The dirt road in front of the house I'm staying in has a huge trench in the middle where they are laying new water pipes, and I found out this morning that we don't have running water in the mornings as a result. I took a cursory sponge bath with some bucket water they drew the previous night (we have running water at night, which is apparently when I should be taking showers now). The power also went out last night (the first time that's happened here) but everywhere I've been has generator backup so it wasn't a big deal. I'll try to upload some photos soon...words alone can't really give an accurate description of this place. Until next time...

1 comment:

Panda!!!! said...

Your experience is so different from most recent MBA grads!