I have landed in Angola. After two days of travel (including the ultimate baby-crying-in-airplane-for-15-hours experience), a stint in Jo’burg (where I definitely overpaid the guy helping me with my suitcases) and a diet composed of challah and ginger tea, I landed in the tropics. The moment tiny droplets of sweat started forming on my nose, I was happy…and I haven’t stopped being happy since.
As many of you know, I am volunteering/consulting/interning for Development Workshop, an incredibly dynamic non profit that has been in Angola since 1981…My initial charge has been to update the website (“actualizar o website”) and develop informational pamphlets (“panfletos”) for the world to see…all my photoshop and editing experience is coming into exquisite use…and yes, I am already working in Portuguese. Half the time I feel like I’m speaking some version of Spanish-French-Italian…it’s awesome. More on work front soon.
And so, without further adieu, here are some highlights (trying to keep it short, so I can keep my fan base going strong for the next three months):
·I have a chain and lock on my door. Yes. And some random guy rang the doorbell at 4:30am the other day looking for a steak sandwich. I told him we don’t start serving until 10am. Thank G-d for locks.
·Our family friend, Cara, lives here in Luanda which means: instant social life, fantastic beaches, incredible dinners with wine (Portuguese, alas, but still…), and tons of girl talk
·Luanda Day was on Friday, but the whole city did not find out whether it was going to be a holiday or not until Thursday night.
·People here have the most beautiful smiles, the capacity to carry A LOT of weight on their heads, and a booming grayish market money exchange operation
·Grapes cost $50 per kilo…kiwis are close
·I have tasted some of the most delicious food…”funge” (corn-based similar to mashed potatoes), “gallinha” (wild/local chicken), “jimboa” (green, spinach-like yumminess), and of course, a ridiculous amount of mango juice
·The long tunics and pants I wear day in day out are last season here…women look at me like I have no sense of style. Moi?? I am fast becoming the proud owner of many “panos” (pareos)…
Skype is becoming my closest friend…after gmail. Hint hint hint.
P.S. Look at my pictures by clicking on this link: http://picasaweb.google.com/naama.laufer/Angola102