Well, it has been a rather calm week, apart from all the rain, and the issue of the National Criminal Investigations Building collapsing last Friday night.
The former DNIC building.
I found this article, on a very disturbing website: www.safetynews.co.uk
“NCID building collapse kills 24
It is thought that the Angolan Interior Ministry may invite Portuguese Engineering Laboratories to participate in investigation of the weekend collapse of the 7-storey National Criminal Investigation Department in Luanda, ongoing recovery work on Monday saw the death tally rise to 24, with more than 150 people injured. At the time of the collapse 180 people were inside, including 145 detainees. The building was constructed 34 years ago during the Portuguese colonial era, it is alleged that the top floor was added later and a substantial generator was also later located on the top floor. Quite a number of structural collapses in African towns and cities feature additional development without building control. 1st April 2008.”
That pretty much sums it up I guess. Life in Africa.
Didn’t get up to much this last week. It rained and rained and rained. Literally everyday in the afternoon. Sometimes twice a day. The weirdest thing is coming out of the building during a downpour, and I mean downpour – think standing in your shower, on full blast for like 15 minutes – and getting hit by this heat wave. I am so used to it being cold and cool when being in rain, that in Luanda the temperature is still the same, just the humidity rises, and it is just plain weird. You are literally sweating under cover outside during a shower! The rain actually gets so dense and the downpours are so severe at times that we actually lose microwave communications between sites. Now that is pretty hectic. The outskirts of town just turn into a complete mud bath. vehicles get stuck, huge potholes develop – the size of cars – and roads get washed away. Traffic gets jammed or stuck. People spend hours in traffic on trips that usually takes minutes.
I met a few of the BP big wigs that were down for the week. Interesting chaps. They gave a few very interesting presentations on BP and some internal issues that were pretty much aimed at the DCT (IT) department. A few pointers that affected us, DD, but nothing to worry about. Ate out a few times too. Went to a new restaurant, new for me, old in lifetime, where the food wasn’t great, well I didn’t think so, but the rest seemed to think it was okay. They must have drunk far more than me! I have actually cut down loads on my drinking – mom – she seems to think I am becoming an alcoholic! I wish!! Anyway, I had the Bacalhau, a salt dried cod, with potatoes. It was alright, but I definitely won’t be having it again in a hurry.
Friday was a public holiday in Angola. The celebration of the signing of the Peace Accord. 4th April 2002. Just 6 years ago. Incredible. Ash and Sly worked, but I chilled at the house. We all worked Saturday, and then Sunday was a day of rest for Sly and myself. We headed off to Shoprite Palanca in the mornign to get a bit of shopping done.
Bruno arrived in the afternoon, coming in from Johannesburg via Windhoek. He was also bringing in the corporate gifts and had a box full of them. His flight landed at 13h10, five minutes early, and the first people came through around 13h35, pretty quick for Luanda. By 15h when the following Windhoek flight had arrived, Bruno still hadn’t appeared. I had already called Sly to double check the time in my mail to make sure that I got the time right. Yup, I was right, so where was he? At this stage I managed to get a peak of a very flustered Bruno. Stuck at Customs!! haha, they had nailed him for the corporate gifts. He managed to clear about 15 mins later, and explained that he was having trouble trying to explain to them what they were and how much the cost. He eventually got a cost for the USB Pen/Pointer units from JHB to be around $2.59 per item. The useless staff weren’t exactly helping to aid the progress of clearing the items. And he SPEAKS Porra! Man, can you imagine if it had been someone like me! I would be without gifts that would be for sure!
We had a meal at Caribe restaurant, cum club, on the weekends, on the Ilha, and it was pretty good. Sly had the prawns, and they were absolutely amazing. The size of two fingers in width (I have small hands - yeah, yeah, I’ve heard al the jokes) and they looked fantastic. I had the Espetada de Mariscos (Seafood Kebab). Good. Bruno had the Prego steak, with Egg and chips. Classic Portuguese meal. It was a good night, and by the time I hit the sack I was knackered.
Should be an interesting week ahead with old Andile Ncaba coming up for the Telecomms Conference in Luanda, and us having a delegates dinner at Chillout. Time to rub shoulders and mingle.
Easy Going Guy
Loving Life! – My old byline from my UK days