Tag Archives: support

Abidjan!!!

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I’ve been in Abidjan for a little while now, but I finally got a good internet connection at my brother-in-law’s office in Treichville. His name is Séké and he is the director of Royal Inspection International Africa, serving in Abidjan but also Takoradi and Tema, Ghana; Douala, Cameroon and Owendo, Gabon! He’s a busy guy who travels a lot, so we are really grateful that he has agreed to help SUAT complete our mission here in Côte D’Ivoire: to learn more about the realities of trafficking in this nation and develop tangible solutions based on the input of students and youth from the community.

Abidjan is a bustling city, full of life at all hours–and I do mean all hours. Due to the Ramadan season, and also the fact that we live near several mosques, my sleep has been pierced into promptly at 4 am, 5:30 am, and 7:00am due to calls to eat before sunrise and subsequent prayer times. After the imam finished, the rest of my attempts at sleeping were effectively neutralized by roosters and chickens who were determined to wake the city up. They also walk around the streets sometimes, but mostly in the slums across the bridge from downtown.

We live on the 4th floor of a neat little two bedroom apartment, and we take the stairs each time. The most interesting thing about Abidjan is the driving situation… There are actually ramps to help cars cross the sidewalk and get on the opposite street. Yes, cars drive on the sidewalk here sometimes, motorcycles are especially shameless for this. But don’t think the pedestrians are upset about their limited walking space, they have no problem walking through the main roads, especially when there’s lots of traffic. The president of France, François Hollande is visiting here soon, he’s picture side by side with the Ivorian president Allasane Ouattara on ads all across the city. People are also erecting the two flags side by side on the bridge leasing from the airport to downtown. It’s an interesting display of affection for a formerly colonizer nation, but hopefully all in good spirit. Today for lunch we had “foufou et sauce d’arachide” which is mashed plantain puffs and peanut sauce, very delicious!

I will add more photos later!! ❤ Sesa

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Sankofa – Reflection

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First of all I have to give a huge shout out to my life partner for all his support. I honestly couldn’t have done this without him! ❤ Always holding me down, I couldn't ask for more…

Today was my first time truly living the Bangkok experience. This place reminds me so much of New York! Big buildings, malls, the works. And the advantage of having US currency is clearly a huge factor here because seeing foreigners is very common.

I expected to be stared at and to feel uncomfortable at some point. Based on previous experience in Vietnam it seems many southeast Asians just haven't seen people with my complexion. There is only one black model anywhere on display and that's Beyonce's recent Pepsi ad. There are many European models, however, and most of the Thai models (men and women) are very light skinned. Nonetheless everyone seems to treat me as I would like to be treated, like anyone else. In fact, on the sky train today a bunch of kids were going nuts taking pictures and laughing hysterically because a white man and woman were on the train. They didn't seem to react the same way to me, interestingly enough.

The tuk-tuk is an experience I think anyone coming here needs to have and the driver was very excited to tell me about how much he loves Obama when I told him I am American 🙂

More to come tomorrow- pictures tonight!