Saturday 30 July 2011

It's inevitable, we get asked a lot of questions about a random assortment of things regarding our life in Gabon.  Here are a few of the most popular:

1.  How long's the flight?

  • Well for starters, it's several flights:  Port Gentil - Libreville - Frankfurt - Toronto - Edmonton  (It is possible to go through Paris however it takes longer and CDG airport sucks so we always try to go through Frankfurt.)

  • It generally ends up being about 32 hours from start to finish.  Yes - 32 hours.

2.  Do you like it?

  • This one's a a bit trickier.  Both Joe and I always answer with an "It's okay," and generally, it is ok.  It's different, it can be hard and frustrating but it's ok.

3.  How long are you going to be there?

  • Joe signed a contract for 'up to 3 years.'  This means it could be more or less.  We've been there a year now and we'll probably start looking for another placement next year.  Maybe in Africa, maybe not.  (It's not really up to us!)

4.  Is it hot there?

  • Well, yes - it is Africa afterall!  We live on the equator.  While the temperatures are relatively stable (25 in the dry season and up to 34 in the rainy season) the humidity is often 80 - 100%.  In the rainy season most days 'feel like' 42 degrees Celsius.  (Kind of like windchill but the opposite for those Canadian readers!)  It never, and I mean never, dips below 20.

5.  What do you eat?

  • Hmmm - not a whole lot of anything good!  The local cuisine isn't very desirable.  Good produce and meat are hard to come by (if not impossible) and we lack most of the shelved goods we'd find at home.  We do eat a lot of pasta, frozen veggies and rice, pizza every Sunday from a local middle eastern restaurant, green beans, potatoes and the local white fish - capitaine.  There are restaurants and yes we do go to them regularly but most serve the same things.  It's a challenge - probably one of the biggest we deal with regularly there.

6.  What do you do for fun?

  • We go to the beach, we hang out with friends, we watch movies from hard drives, attend parties and gatherings, go out for dinner and that's about it.  There isn't a lot to do but we seem to fill the time just fine

7.  Do you feel safe?

  • Yes.  I can drive myself around town and go shopping alone.  I feel fine when Joe is out of town and generally never worry for my own safety.  (Obviously, there are certain areas of town I wouldn't go alone and I try not to drive by myself at night solely for the fact that if the car broke down I might be vulnerable.  But that is like anywhere.)  We don't have to live in a compound and we do have 24 hour guards at our house (every expat does) but they don't really do a lot.  Some people find this hard to believe after all of our robberies but usually, people want our stuff, not us.

That's it for now - if you think of anything else, post a comment!


  1. Hello. Lovely to read your blogs. The first I have ever read to be honest. I am a white, I am writing you from Calgary, AB. I have a strange but real issue on my hands and possibly some words from you can help steer
    us one direction or another. My husband has been offered a job in PG. Africa. Or (Gamba?) not quite sure which. But obviously I have not the slightest clue about this. As I was reading, my head flooded with questions, I was hoping you would email me and let me ask some.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Sara! I sent you an email - if it's not there, check your junk mail!


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