Always in the deep woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is an ancient fear of the unknown and is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into. What you are doing is exploring. -- Wendell Berry

The TRIP: GUINEA - wonkifong --> MALI - bamako, djenne, douentza, Dogon Country --> Burkina Faso - ouagadougou, bobo-dioulasso, bala, ouagadougou --> GHANA - tamale, mole national park, tamale, yeji, volta lake ferry, akosombo, accra, green turtle lodge, elmina, cape coast, accra, hohoe and wli falls --> TOGO - kpalime, atakpame, lome --> BENIN - cotonu (transport stop) --> NIGER - niamey, tahoua, agadez, camel trek in aiir mtns, niamey --> BENIN (abomey, grand popo, ouidah, ganvie, cotonou) --> CAMEROON (douala, buea, top of Mt Cameroon, limbe, sangelima, yaounde, kribi, douala) --> MAURITANIA (nouakchott, atar, chinguetti, camels into the sahara, terjit, choume, ride the coal train, nouadhibou) --> MOROCCO (western sahara, dakhla, agadir, essaouira, marrakesh, imlil, summit of jebel toubkal, fes, chefchaouen) --> cross the Strait of Gibraltar --> Malaga, Spain --> fly to Geneva, Switzerland --> Les Grangettes, France
Click for a map. Updated April 30, 2007

jeudi, novembre 23, 2006

Nightmares Forever (October 29, 2006)

No, I am not going to celebrate Halloween by being Frank-the-Tank, the streaking white ghost of Wonkifong but I was recently the source of what could haunt a few small children for a long time. For this adventure, I was out on a bike ride. The Peace Corps issued bike is quite impressive compared to the Guinean two-wheelers. Big knobby tires and a front suspension system can make the bike look intimidating. On top of this bike is me, a big white guy wearing a helmet (almost nonexistent in Guinea) and sunglasses.

This day, I was coming down a hill that bottomed out at a small creek. Some women and their children were washing laundry in the creek. As I approach, a couple of ladies grab the smallest kids and thrust them towards me. The kids were absolutely terrified and were crying and screaming. The ladies were laughing but continued to hold the kids up towards me. Suppressing the desire to let out an evil cackle, I biked through as quickly as possible to put an end to the poor kids’ misery.