Around the Island!

This past weekend, a few friends and I decided to take a trip around the Island of Bioko.  The Equato-Guinean Government has numerous building projects going on all over the island.  Many new roads are under construction.  It was a wonderful trip, we quickly made our way around the island.  The only area still not accessible by car is the Southern most 1/3 of the island.  This region is extremely remote and home to some unique species of monkeys, found only here on the island!  Along the way we stopped to take in the raw beauty of this island.  There are many beautiful vistas overlooking the ocean where waterfalls pass under the numerous road bridges as the water works its way down to the sea.

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The Ceiba Tree, Jungle, Equatorial Guinea, Africa.

Wikipedia states that the “Ceiba is the name of a genus of many species of large trees found in tropical areas, including Mexico, Central and South America, The Bahamas, Belize and the Caribbean, West Africa, and Southeast Asia. Some species can grow to 70 m (230 ft) tall or more, with a straight, largely branchless trunk that culminates in a huge, spreading canopy, and buttress roots that can be taller than a grown person. The best-known, and most widely cultivated, species is Kapok, Ceiba pentandra.”

On a recent “jungle walk” a paused for a picture next to a beautiful Ceiba Tree. 

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The Sound of Silence…. Jungle Style.

Turn up the volume and listen to the sounds of the jungle….

One Saturday morning, a friend and I took our inflatable kayaks and drove from Malabo to Luba, a port town on the South-West side of Bioko Island.  We set up our boats and launched into the Atlantic Ocean, riding the waves into a small inlet called “Rio de Tiburones” or Shark River.  We quietly navigated the mangrove in almost complete silence.  That’s the one advantage to motor-less boats, you can quietly sneak-up on wildlife.  We saw many large birds and heard the breaking brush of larger mammals just out of site.  The water was crystal clear and motionless, only the drips off our paddles disturbed the placid surface of the water.  Ahhhh, I’m in my element, my church, my home!

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A short lesson on Euatorial Guinea, Africa.

This is the Plaza I pass everyday on my walks around Malabo. 

My hotel is located next to the Plaza and, as you can see, is in front of the National Cathedral.  The country of Equatorial Guinea is a former Spanish Colony and therefore Spanish is the most widely spoken language.  Most peopele don’t know that Spanish and Portuguese are spoken in numerous African countries.  Many know about French Colonial history in Africa but not the Spanish and Portuguese.  French and Portuguese are also “official” languages but not as widely spoken as Spanish.  There are other local languages like Fang and Bubi (my 12 year old nephew liked the name “Bubi”…gee I wonder why…lol)
The Capital City of Malabo is on the Island of Bioko in the Gulf of Guinea.  The “Continetal” side of the country has Gabon and Cameroon as neighbors.  The main source of income for the country is oil.

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OPERATION “DOWN SIZING” COMPLETE

I just got my tax refund from the mortgage company from the sale of my home in Aug 2010.
That means the “Down Sizing” is Complete!  Yeahhhhhhh!!

I went from this home;

Summer View,

Winter View,

To this………………………………………………Now my home has wheels…….

I put my things in storage… and maybe when the housing maket interests me, I’ll buy a “small” home somewhere, but for now…. Big Bertha is my home! (Back in the USA).

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Perspective and the American Dream.

I awoke early this morning and decided to update the blog before work.  I made a cup of coffee and got back in bed with the laptop…. yes there is internet, so I can update!  As I sipped my coffee I realized how fortunate I am.  I thought about how good I really have it, a great job, no debt (I recently sold a home back in the US… boy was that a relief…) and so many options!  Work for a few more years or travel next Spring?   I will need to decide next Spring!  For now I want to enjoy life on a small tropical African Island called Bioko (Equatorial Guinea).
That brings me to my point about perspective and the American Dream.  I have been happiest when I am on the road and traveling, least happy when I was slave to a huge mortgage.  Most happy with a frying pan over a camp stove cooking some canned stew, least happy when trying to put together a “perfect” meal for the neighbors in a huge modern kitchen.  I guess what I am saying is my American Dream is simple, to experience life to the fullest, travel, meet people, learn about their cultures… to see the world with my own eyes and not from the pages of a book!  The big house, 2 cars and a country club membership might be the perfect American Dream for some but not for me.  When my work here in Africa is complete, I will hit the road and be a full time gypsy, I want to see America via the back roads.  So I guess my “American Dream” is still the ability to satisfy my addiction to Wander-Lust!!

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