Category Archives: Luanda

Angola vs Algeria – Luanda Stadium – COCAN 2010

I went to see a COCAN 2010 match LIVE! 🙂


Luanda Stadium, in all its glory! It IS a stunning stadium!

We got tickets to see the last match of Group A, Angola vs Algeria in the Luanda Stadium. It was a big match for both as they both required a win to go through to the Quarter Finals. However, Angola had the upper-hand going into the match in that they only required a draw to secure their place.

The tickets cost us 2000Kz a piece, yip 2000Kz (R200), even though the price on the ticket only reads 250Kz. Talk about taking the piss, but that is what happens when you get tickets like 1 day before the game.

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A few pics: Tickets, and the Stadium

We only arrived in time for the Second Half as it took us 2h30 to get there through the traffic, and afterwards another 2 hours to get back home. A knock on effect of the traffic chaos caused by declaring a National Public Holiday for Luanda at like 08h that morning. The entire city – literally the entire city – was gridlocked from 11h30. One of my colleagues took 5 hours to go less than 12 kms in the car! Insane.


I had to include this one of the Toilet. All in Marble!


This is the Support Structure of the Stadium outside. Quite an amazing view!

It was a very lack-lustre second half I will admit. Angola maintained possession for about 80% of the half, yet only spent about 40% in the Algerian’s half. Plus, every time Algeria got they ball, they almost scored. Angola were definitely told to keep the ball and play it safe, which was disappointing after such an eye-opening first match. They will definitely have to up their game if they wish to get through the Quarter Finals.

However, one thing I can say is that it is amazing to see how the Angolans are arising to the occasion and backing their home team. Truly great stuff. Talk about National Pride!

Go Angola Go! 🙂

My Video of the Stadium

Apologies for the poor quality of pics and video, but that is what you get when you use a Nokia E71 as your camera! 😮



Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Living Life! Tags: ,,

COCAN Kicking Off – 1 Day “To Go”

Cocan - 1 Day To Go

One day to go to till the kick off!

It’s really sad news for Angola today as Togo pull out of Cocan due to a massive attack on their team bus in Cabinda.

However, the tournament appears to be going ahead as normal – I have yet to be informed otherwise – and the government is still going great guns on completing outstanding infrastructure issues whilst they can for Cocan. The Ilha road works are still being worked on, even as late as 20h00 on  a Saturday night, which is pretty much unheard of, in anticipation for the big event on Sunday.

I can only wish them the very best. I’ll try to follow it on TV, if I even get the reception on the DSTV Africa bouquet we have. I am hoping we do.

It’s going to be an interesting remaining 3 weeks.



Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Living Life!

360 Days!

Yeah, that is how long it has been since my last post! Man, WTF??? I can’t believe it.

So, wow, what an age. That’s like just short of a year. Time has literally flown by!

I’ve just logged back into my site for the first time in ages, don’t tell anyone but I even had to look my password up as I had forgotten it, seen that I have a host of comments that for some unknown reason I hadn’t been informed of, got a ton of admin and housekeeping to do to get things shipshape again and sort out the back-end details of a few things, and perform a WAY OVERDUE upgrade of the platform. Welcome back to the admin side of running your own site! 🙁

Okay, so let’s see . . . what has happened in the time I’ve been quite? Well, quite a lot actually. I’ll be updating the site fairly regularly now over the next few weeks – hopefully, and for an indeterminate time thereafter as things go. I’ll be covering the main reason I went quiet, the time in between, various adventures, holidays, mishaps, and life in Angola in general.

YES – I’m STILL in Angola!

I’ll also fill you in on a couple of my achievements and accomplishments, and of course a couple of missed goals and targets. Come on, we’ve all got them.

I’ll fill you in on the exciting Work Permit Pandemonium (ordeal) that I recently went through, the entertaining story of ordering “stuff” from the states, keeping you all up to date with my fitness trial-by-fire journey to “Once Again” get and keep fit. I’ll be uploading my running profiles – techie at heart coming to the fore 🙂 – using my Garmin Forerunner 405 that keeps a GPS log of my route and heart rate, and share my efforts and emotions along the way. As always, I’ll keep it honest, entertaining, probably not very clean, and most of all . . . I’ll Keep IT Tidy!! 🙂

So sit back, relax, and get ready to be able to blame the lost hours at work to something other than procrastination. 🙂


Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Living Life!

(back from beyond)

5th September – Angolan Election Day

A Good Day for Angola! A BAD Day for us! The day started quiet and slow, without any issues. No gunfire, shouting or misbehaving. Fine so far. 🙂

2008-09 - 02 Elections 2008-09 - 03 Elections

Election Flags; Election FLAG! (The size of a car)

The roads outside the house were really quiet, and it was around lunchtime that we decided we were going to head out to Ilha and go check things out. We were also gonna look for Carvao (Charcoal) for the braai we were gonna have later on. Tango Delta wasn’t driving that day, unless specifically required to do so, like airport trips, etc. So all staff jaunts were out. I called up The Architect and we picked him up on the way thru. Everything was closed and we just drove down to the end of the Ilha to the lighthouse. At the end of the spit we found a market on the right that was half open, they weren’t really selling anything except food and drinks, so we pulled in to find out if we could get any carvao nearby.

We landed up asking the one stall seller, who was serving a policeman. He spoke really good English, had apparently worked in Namibia for a while, so was interesting conversation whilst we waited to hear where we could get carvao. Well, no one knew, so we chilled at the lighthouse on the corner, and just watched the people for a while. 2 things were soon very apparent about the lighthouse corner:

1) It was a great place to park off and watch literally everyone who drove past wheel spin, handbrake, wheelie or rear-wheel slide trying to get attention. It could only be a matter of time before some taxi, 4×4, or bike would wipe out here. Saturday nights must be legend here with a camcorder. But, it was not to be our time. As much as the taxi and bikes were pushing he envelopes on that corner, there were no such entertaining moments. 🙁

2) It appeared to be a good place to get picked up, if you were looking to . . . as we were being eye-balled by everyone on the way round. One person chatting us up after they stopped, by emergency breaking, to put the child’s safety belt on in the back. Classic.

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THE Lighthouse; Torres Atlantico 

Well, from there we were headed back towards the house, without carvao, when we decided to call The Techie and pick him up on the way. We took a short detour via town first to get The AV/VC Techie. I had been to the staff house that Techie was staying in before, but I couldn’t fully remember the way, so Architect said we would give directions. We were about 100m away from house, which is situated in a one-way, which was about 50m ahead of us on the right, when The Architect called out “Right, turn Right now!”. The Namibian who was driving at the time, our driver didn’t arrive, suddenly turned right. Almost into a Traffic Officer on his Motorbike. Almost hitting the Traffic Officer on his Motorbike, who was the front rider to a motorcade or 2 Black Volvos! With Flags on them! FUCK!

We backed up immediately. Well, the copper definitely wasn’t very chuffed at all. Firstly, he almost shat when the Namibian hit him, and secondly he was fuming when he got off his bike. He stormed over to us and started shouting at us in Porra. Well, we don’t speak Porra and said so. He wanted The Namibians License, which he duly handed over. Then he wanted the vehicle papers and we handed over what we could. It is a bit of a mess in the glove box and all the papers are all tattered and old in an old envelope. He looked at them and grabbed what he could get hold of and told us to follow him. Which we did. We followed him into the city and stopped outside the a building where the other vehicles of the motorcade were. The building was the CNE. Comissão Nacional Eleitoral. The National Electoral Commission. And we had almost hit their motorcade. We were sooo fucked now! 🙁 The cop called The Namibian out, I followed but was directed to stay in the car. I returned and The Namibian was escorted inside the gates. The property has slatted wooden fencing on the street front, through which you can see the movement of people inside. Not very safe for a big wig I must say. Out vehicle was stopped on the right-hand side of the road 5 metres up from the building, so we could see the goings on. The next thing we were all called inside.

There were about 15 guys here all in suits and all looking at us very gravely. We stated we don’t speak Portuguese and asked if anyone speaks English, where to our amazement, we found out that no-one spoke English. No-one here with all these guys in suits and could speak English? That is very, very surprising. Even our guards at the house understand a bit of English, and most people will help out if they can’t speak it. So 15 guys, who work for am official of sorts DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH?? Right. The one guy who appeared to have assumed control was very disapproving and kept shaking his head, with a very stern look his face.

The Namibian had already called The Girlfriend, a local, who spoke the language. She had been speaking to the copper, and now he passed the phone back to her. His take on this was that we had just made an attempt on the President of the CNE! Haha, legend! Well, at the time it wasn’t that funny. This was ridiculous. He informed his girlfriend of this and she spoke to the copper again. He stuck by his story. Us . . . 4 guys, 2 in baggies, 2 in jeans, 2 with caps on, none speaking Porra, driving a hire car 4×4, not fully aware of our way around the city, one with a local girlfriend, all profusively apologetic! What a joke. And what a bunch of morons for thinking that! Around about now they kicked the 3 of us out, and told us to go back to the car . . .  with the keys! What the hell? Yeah, you let assassins go back to the car with the keys? Right. Shortly afterward we got into the car, a guy ran out, whom I think was the driver of the one car, looked at us and mimed handcuffs on our wrists. That was when I laughed. I still can’t tell if it was a nervous laugh or a truly, this is funny, laugh. I got a call from The Girlfriend said that she had called her brother, The Shipper, who just happened to be in country and that he was on his way around to help out.

I gave The Namibian a call and he answered. We had a chat about what was going on and he told me that they did speak English as the one guy had told him he could take a seat, in English. When he questioned the guy about his English, he suddenly switched back to Porra. The 3 of us sat in the car and got chatting about our predicament. We didn’t think we were really in that much trouble as we wouldn’t be in the car with the keys if we were. If they suspected anything, we would be inside with guys going the car, and us in cuffs already. We also wouldn’t be allowed to make calls on our mobile, and The Namibian definitely wouldn’t be allowed to make or receive calls. I did comment that we were lucky it wasn’t The President’s motorcade we had almost run into as if it was, one of the many, many armed guards would have shot us already, onsite! They don’t stuff around here. Also, it was noted that today was not the best of days to be almost bumping into the President of the CNE. We considered contacting The Architect and AV/VC Techie’s company’s security department and ask them for help, but that would only get us, and likely them in serious shit as there was a ruling that they weren’t really supposed to be out and about today. The fallout from that call would be serious, and they would most likely be shipped home for ignoring and breaking company security policy. So I decided against going that route, unless really really necessary. Like handcuffs necessary.

The Shipper arrived and got chatting to The Namibian and the copper. Well, after much back and forth he came and informed us that it comes down to the following:

1) The driver of the car needs a note from the car hire company in Angola to drive the car.

2) The company who the driver works for needs to issue a letter allowing the driver to drive the car.

3) Today was the wrong day to be doing any of this. Election Day. The FIRST true elections in 16 years or so. Bad day to be running into the President of the CNE.

As all 3 points were against us, the driver was looking at jail time. He would need to be taken downtown, booked and arrested. The car would be impounded and then that was a mission of paperwork to get it out. The car hire company would need to come to get the vehicle out and we would have to pay a fine – a large, hefty fine – to get the driver and the car out.

Alternatively, we could just sort things out here . . . ah-ha Welcome to Africa!

Show me the MONEY!!

There was a catch . . . there were 7, yes, SEVEN guys in the mix! The 2 cops, the 2 drivers, a few security guys, etc, etc, etc. Fuck me! So now we got counting. The Architect pulled his cash out and tried to pass it to me, sitting in driver’s seat. “Whoa dude, keep your cash down” I said, pushing his hand down. You don’t blatantly show your cash in these situations. Well, we had about $500 in mixed currency on us, and The Namibian reckon he had about $130 or so in US. So about $630. Hmmm, not enough. They wanted $700. $100 a piece. Man what a RIP! So, we called The Big Zimbo  back at the house and asked to stand with a little extra cash that we could pick up. The Shipper returned and advised us that now it was $1000! WTF!!! Well, now the others weren’t happy, and wanted more in case someone mentioned something and reported them. What we would never do that . . . willingly! 🙂

So we made a plan. There was more cash at the house as that is where The Zimbo’s were, and they had cash on them. Okay, The Shipper had organised for us to go get more cash. The copper held our papers and we drove off to organise. We stopped off to get The Techie, the original plan, and continued on to the house,  where we got the cash together and The Shipper and his mate returned to the copper and shortly returned back with all our papers and The Namibian’s licence. Fantastic. They informed us that the Angolan cops here were just plain unfair and had previously put The Shipper’s mate in jail for the night as he had left his licence at home when he was stopped. Crazy huh?

So we got about getting the fire going. Ahhhh . . . . No Carvao! After all that. Still no carvao. We decided to go look for some in the hood, and were about to get in the car AGAIN, when I asked our guard if he could organise. A few minutes later there was some random at the gate, and he said he could organise. So we sent him off to go get 5 bags of carvao, a case of Cristal cervesa and garaf of Vodka. Well he returned empty handed stating he needed the cash first, so The Namibian and I ventured off with him, thinking it was just down the road. Well 15 minutes later we were still walking, through the hood. An hour later we returned to the house, on foot, carrying 10 bags of carvao, a case of Cristal and a garaf of Johnny Red. At least we learnt where to get all the things we need afterhours, should we run out again! 🙂

So, the braai proceeded and we al got a bit wrecked, me waking up in the early hours of the morning, still fully clothed! What a night!



Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Not Being In Jail! 🙂



organise carvao, booze, walked a good few kms

The National Public Holiday – Luanda

So yesterday Wednesday was a National Public Holiday. No one however knew about it. The entire country was only informed of this decision at 18h on Tuesday evening on national TV. Classic.

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The Elections are Coming! Both MPLA and Unita flags proudly displayed in the capital. The pic is a bit out of focus. 🙁

We were sent an email about it, well I wasn’t, but the BP guys were, and they forwarded it on to me. I then called Maria who would be in the know. It was 22h15, and not too late I thought. Well, I woke her up. I apologised and asked her about the public holiday.

“Yes, it is a National public holiday!” she exclaimed. This as opposed to a normal public holiday?

Well, I landed up going to work as I was in town in the morning to get my work permit sorted out at SRC – that is turning into an even bigger nightmare, but more on that later – and then I had a telecon in the afternoon for another issue, so just decided to do the work thing and catchup with documentation and emails.

Crap, but I got through a lot, so it was good.

The evening was spent at Cais de Quatro, a restaurant on the Ilha on the bay side, which was nice. I ordered the 2400Kz Garoupa fillet with chips. It was pretty good. The entire bill came to 15 300Kz for 3 of us. Bradley (the architect), Steven (the techie) and myself. Yip R 1 500 for 2 guys and that is pretty much the norm. Madness huh!

Well Elections tomorrow, on Friday the 5th. Gonna be interesting.



Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Living Life

Back in Action to get Flat! – Luanda

So, I am back in Luanda, weighing in at a meek 87Kgs. The heaviest I have ever been in my life!! and I thought the bulges I was seeing on my tummy was my six pack developing. It was developing alright! Just not the way I was wanting it to! 🙁

So I have decided that I am gonna put some serious effort now into getting fit and slim for my return to Cape Town in Mid November, so that I can hopefully show off my new build. And not have to squeeze into my jeans and go out and buy more clothes because I am getting fat! Also there is a serious competition developing between the Pharmacist, who is weighing in at over 100Kgs, and myself to be fitter than the other by my return, Friday, November 14th. We’ll see. I’ve got an easier task I know, but he might show more improvement in which case I guess he will get the prize, whatever that is. Maybe a Steers Combo 1! 🙂

So I have purchased a little trinket to help me on my way. A Garmin Forerunner 405, and thus far it is pretty sweet. Really cool. It does GPS Positioning, has a Heart rate monitor strap, and can be tuned for running or cycling, using distance, or purely time. The display can also be customised to display whatever you want whilst training. Distance, HR, Pace, etc etc etc. At a bank breaking R4000 it ain’t cheap, but then when you start looking at the capabilities and you start comparing, you realise it is pretty much a good deal. It has the option of a footpod and bicycle add-on for road running and cycling, and obviously those are extras, but the rest of the features add up greatly in it’s defence. So far I like it, and I will be blogging more of my experiences with it as time goes by.

I’ll also be creating a new category: Fitness, and will add in all my logs and graphs, the application produces graphs for display, so you can see how I am coming on, and offer encouragement . . .  or laugh at how unfit I am!!



Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Living Life!

82 Days . . . Let’s Do IT – Luanda

So, I am back. Have been for just over a week now. I am blogging again too, as my WordPress is fully working again now. Thanks Andre! 🙂

What did he do to fix it??

(11:08:06 AM) Andre: try it
(11:09:00 AM) Nunnsby: busy trying . . . angolan telecoms f*cked, so net access tempermental
(11:09:13 AM) Nunnsby: ahhh, u biscuit!!
(11:09:15 AM) Nunnsby: so what was wrong?
(11:09:21 AM) Andre: erm
(11:09:25 AM) Andre: very good question
(11:09:28 AM) Andre: i have no idea
(11:09:28 AM) Nunnsby: yeah?
(11:09:33 AM) Nunnsby: so, what you do?
(11:09:49 AM) Andre: i tweaked and touched a few things but i’m not sure what actually made it work

Gotta love mates in the know! Well, all I know is that it is now working fine and that is cool.

So, I am now in country for 82 days. Why 82 days?? well that was always part of the deal. In fact 90 days at a time was part of the deal. Discovery Health cover us out of the country for up to 90 days, so we return to South Africa every 90 days to make sure our Discovery cover doesn’t fall by the way. Also gives the guys a bit of time back with their families and loved ones. which you definitely need after having worked anywhere in Africa for any period of time.

But you said 82 days, not 90. Well, I have a wedding on the 15th November. Alan’s. And as he is Technical Services Director – I think – I don’t quite see anyone giving me grief about heading home a week early for that. So I will be heading home on Fri the 14th November. A big night at Oblivion that night that is for sure. 🙂

So, I’m up for 82 days, and that gives me plenty of time to get my blogging fingers back in action and write down all the usual stuff that is keeping me occupied. And plenty on things on the go this time around: Elections, Offshore to the Sedco Express, Torres Atlantico Project, House renovations, etc, etc, etc.

Pictures to follow soon.



Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Living Life!

Having a Whale of a Time Fishing – Luanda

I managed to get to go Deep Sea Fishing today with a few of the BP guys, and it was pretty cool. We didn’t get any fish, but we did see a pod of 3 whales! Nice!

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Shipwrecks – Ilha – On the Beach, and in the Bay!

The Angolan coastline, and ironically enough the inner bay, is absolutely littered with wrecks of all kinds. The trip from the Club Nautico – the “yacht club” is an interesting one. You motor past wrecks of all shapes and sizes, in various different locations. Some in the middle of the bay, others tucked up against the beach, some just left to sink where they are moored.

The swell as we rounded the point out of the bay was a tiny bit compressed and we got a few good jumps travelling at the speed we were, considering we had 2 x 200HP motors on the back, it wasn’t surprising. 🙂 We headed out past the various cargo vessels, 20 in all, all at anchor just outside the bay, and went directly west for a few miles. The swell was very flat and long out here and if there was a meter difference it was a freak swell. Talk about the fish pond effect.

The weather was overcast and pretty nippy and we were all wearing jumpers. That extra bit colder here out on the water. Luanda is definitely not as warm as it is supposed to be this winter. But hey, still warmer than Cape Town! 🙂 After having trawled for around 2 hours or so, with not even a strike, we came across a baleia (whale) just off a car carrier vessel in fairly deep water. We slowed down and tried to get closer. It dipped back down after we saw it, but then surfaced again off our starboard bow. A minute or 2 passed when suddenly 2 surfaced just behind us, literally 15 meters off our stern. They majestically rose, blew out and slowly arched over back into the water. On the next surface, there were the 2 on our port side when suddenly a 3rd surfaced on our starboard. They were together on the surface and we in pursuit from there.

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A Pod of Angolan Whales! 🙂

We followed them for about an hour or so, keeping a fairly manageable distance, and I must say they seems pretty un-phased by us. They went under the boat twice, and even surfaced really close, like less than 10 metres, running parallel to us on the one time. It was quite amazing how majestic and graceful they moved, and on a few occasions we got the “tail” as they disappeared below the water.

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Angolan Whale Tail!

Around 12h30 we made the decision to head back in. This after we had passed about 5 local fishing “boats” who all reported no catches, apart from one little fish the size of my forearm.

The rest of the day spent watching the Tennis!

Yes NADAL! 🙂



Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Life

Luanda Landscapes

So, I finally managed to get right onto the building roof, and remembered to take my camera. 🙂

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Looking down on Luanda!

This is not so much a blog, as just a series of pics of what Luanda truly looks like. Well the CBD that is.

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The SanLuanda hotel construction site.

A new Luxury Hotel with about 240 rooms, 50 suites, indoor pool, 3 restaurants (I think) – one panoramic one right at the top, bars, and a gym. It’s going to be pretty sweet when done. You probably can’t see, but there are 11 cranes in this picture. Now that is development!

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Beauty in the Beast!

An old original building that is being renovated, and made into a restaurant – I think once again.

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The Lovely Banco Nacional de Luanda.

Even better view from the front, but I don’t have those pics here. Those are dredging pipes in the background, not oil -pill pipes.

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Torres Atlantico, with Fortaleza in the background.

The fancy new Torres Atlantico building stands out in stark comparrison to what is around it, apart from the Sonangol building, which I couldn’t see from this roof. Hmmmm . . . maybe I can get onto the TA roof. 🙂

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A new apartment block being built by our friends the Chinese.

It will house retail, office, and residential, and will be massive as you can see.



Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Life

Getting Out . . . To The Ghettos – Luanda

So on Sunday we, PG and myself, went to Bellas to go see a movie: The Incredible Hulk, which was actually really good. I thought it was cool. The really scary thing for me was how much we actually just take really good special effects for granted nowadays.

2008-06 01 - Coke Truck

The “This Is Africa” German Coke Truck!

After seeing IronMan a few weeks back :), and now this, it is just normal to see a CGI movie, and actually think that what you are seeing in there, you could walk out of the cinema and see in real life. Some green dude running down the road. Really freaky the way it starts to blur the lines of reality.

Well, at R60 for the Movie and R60 for the Popcorn and a Can on Sprite, it was an expensive experience. Little Portuguese kids shouting and talking the whole time through-out. Really little Portuguese children crying – like months old babies – who’s parents obviously decided they weren’t going to miss out on this on the big screen, and just had to come. And no one said anything about it. That is the most amazing thing. It is just the done thing. Man, and I like my quiet movie theaters! Haha, experience of note.

So on the way back the driver, not one of the usual 2 we have, they have the weekend off now, decided that he was not going to go the normal route, as the road was rammed, so he would go another route, a shorter route. Cool, PG was happy as we would be back in time for the Footie: Spain vs Germany!

Well, we drove and drove and then the light was gone and the road went from being 2 lane tarred, to one lane tarred, to one lane dirt, to just a complete tailback. We were stuck in traffic. Lots of traffic. Then we got nudged from behind by another vehicle in the middle of this chaos. Our driver, though not very good with the Safety Procedures just climbs out, leaves the door open with the engine running and walks back to check the damage. I leant over, closed the door, and locked it. Now it’s not like anyone would try hijack us, as we were going nowhere in that traffic, but the safety factor is till very much an unknown! And not a f#ck was I getting out to check the issue. These guys still carry guns around here. Plus the location wasn’t the most inspiring I will say.

So, the damage was minimal, just a nudge actually, nothing doing, and we carried on at a walk. In fact at one stage people walking past were going faster than we were. We continued on this road a while longer, and then the road stopped. There was some detour and loads of construction, and the driver was a bit foxed, but we carried on down another “short-cut”. It was around about now that I saw a plane coming into land on our left, about a km away. This was mildly concerning as the airport is a way out of town, and should have either been in front of us, or to our right on this trip back. We went through a fairly busy crossroad/taxi-rank intersection, and had to slow down considerably as we did so. All the onlookers on the side of the road were inquisitively peering into the vehicle to see what was inside. Plenty of chaps staring directly at me or leaning closer into the vehicle to get a good look. It was around about now that I started to feel, for the first time since being in Luanda, uneasy about being a non-Portuguese speaking expat. Hey easy for PG and our driver, the 2 BLACK dudes in the car, however for the white guy upfront, it could be a problem. The thing that I was actually nipping about the most was not really me being white, but the fact that we had a driver in full uniform, easily identifiable by the lapels and clothes he was wearing, so I was more nervous about us being identified as being of a “wealthy industry” and therefore “hijackable”. Blame the stories I hear from certain people about Nigeria I guess.

We continued on along this dirt road, the traffic now becoming less and less, and far more free-flowing, until it took another detour . . . to the right. i.e. further away from Luanda. At around about this stage the driver pulled over again, flagged down a passing car, and walked over, once again leaving the door open. Here however was a perfect place for Hijackings, so once again I leant over, closed and locked the door. This time he got “better” directions . . .  back the way we came! I asked him if we now knew where we were going, and he replied everything was good. “Don’t worry, you are Safe.” he chimed. We turned around and started along the road for a while longer, this time slowly heading back in the general direction of the airport.  A bit further down the road we came across a police man, on foot, walking in the direction we were travelling. Appears the directions we had gotten were still not sufficient, so our driver pulled over and we got a bit of direction advice from the policeman. After both repeating the same few words time and again, something to do with forwards, the driver suddenly tells us the Cop is getting a lift with us to help with directions. “Don’t worry, it is good for us.” Appears our driver wasn’t feeling as “safe” as we were supposed to be! 🙁 So our cop got a lift, and we got fairly good directions.

About 30 minutes later of driving through the slums, we emerged onto the main road back into Luanda. We were now quite a few miles past the airport, and it was very interesting to figure out roundabout route we had taken. On our way out of the “slums” we passed loads of sidewalk “shebeens”, with guys standing around drinking and chilling. The taxis out here controlled the road, and had absolutely no regard for the rules of the road or anyone else. A few constantly suddenly stopping directly in front of us, without any sign of a warning, and not caring a damn when the driver leant out and shouted or hooted at him. Once again, the Angolan Attitude showed it’s colours – Me First!

Yet, the surprises were not going to end here. At the one junction that we were definitely supposed to turn left, the driver decides to turn right. Into a one-way. Man, that delayed us another 30 minutes. At thsi stage I was fuming, but there was no point in getting cross now, as there was nothing further to be done. We were now less than 3 kms from home, so it was just sit back and wait.

So, over 2 hours after leaving Bellas, A trip that should take just less than an hour, we arrived home, to just get the last the 30 mins or so of the footie.

PG was well pleased.

So, looking back now in hindsight: It was a bit nerve-wracking at the time, but very informative and interesting to see “how the other 80%” actually live. To see the environment and habitat. The challenges for the Government are HUGE! Can something like this ever be undone? Unlikely. Can this poverty ever really be eradicated or the people truly uplifted and provided for? It is going to take a while. A long while. I don’t think it will ever happen in my life-time. Nor my next generation’s. Something like this doesn’t change over night I can promise you that much. Not even with the amount of money that Angola currently has, or is making. It starts with education and empowerment. And, the way things are going with the amount of Chinese coming in and most of the infrastructure work being outsourced to them, it is a long way off. A lot of Angolans are already very upset with the way things are going, the slow rate of progress, the lack of visible infrastructure, the lack of creation of jobs or better conditions for the local people, the excessive wealth that Sonangol (the state owned oil company) is displaying. However with only one ruling party, there isn’t much they can do about it. Unfortunately.



Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving being Alive! 🙂