Leesburg to Libreville
Bonjour! We made it to Libreville, and it’s now our second day in town. The trip here feels so long ago, oddly enough… maybe that’s the jet lag talking – but, once we landed, a lot came at us – fast. It’s assimilation time! Compared to our first day in Libreville, the journey getting here seems unremarkable – though at the time, felt daunting. *ps. Diego did fantastic. Almost 20 hours from start to finish, he made not a peep until our final hour waiting in line for our visa. He didn’t mess his crate, and doesn’t seem to hate me for putting him through that.
Since we landed a little over a day ago, we have been hosted for dinner at a colleague’s home, experienced our first tropical thunderstorm, visited the local grocer twice, had our medical orientation, gone to what looks like the Gabonese Walmart, acquired a sim card for my iPhone with the help of a french speaking coworker of B’s, we’re learning to navigate street dogs with Diego in tow, walked down to the Bord de Mer (the main street that runs along the ocean), made our first meal, and completed a load of laundry. People- it feels like a major accomplishment.
Today is Brandon’s first full day of work, and Diego and my first day “alone”. Although the accommodations leave a few things to be desired, the absence of smell for example, we have TV that gets a few channels – among them, the Olympics, in English- which is awesome. AND! The most amazing of all – INTERNET. Incredibly grateful to have working internet and a cell phone today! (all of which are possible because Brandon is the best). It has come in very handy already, for instance- this morning I translated a message for the building cleaning lady, explaining that it is unnecessary for her to come everyday (which I wrote on a receipt for her to read). I have been in touch with family and friends via email, iMessage and even FaceTime has been working. Our best hours for a good connection are in the AM and afternoon. In the evenings, the connection is taxed because everyone is home and taking up bandwidth.
We are temporarily living in an apartment building called, Royal… a series of three buildings, two of which house other company employees. We have heard that we’ll be here for a month or so until we are moved into our actual place, which we hear is a bit nicer. Not too shabby.
Initial culture shock-like observations include: Large lizards, everywhere. haha. Machetes are available at the grocery store, (they are in a cardboard box near the paper plates, of course). Cars always have the right of way. Diego is quite the anomaly here, lots of rubber-necking from people walking and driving by us.
More later. Until then, here is small album of our travel day.