Yes, you read that correctly. Gabon along with Equatorial Guinea are playing host to the Africa Cup of Nations this year and it starts today. Those of us living in Gabon have been hearing about this tournament a lot over the last year as the country has been scrambling to make sure everything is ready for the expected 80 000 footballers, fans & tourists that will be entering the country. New stadiums have been built and infrastructure mildly improved in Libreville & Franceville so that Gabon can put it's 'best' foot forward for it's visitors. The government is taking it seriously too; they mandated that all schools in the ENTIRE country will be closed for the 3 weeks the tournament lasts (obviously, football trumps education. Duh.) In Port Gentil, the mass exodus of expats have begun leaving the few of us staying behind with deserted grocery stores and beaches.
Will Joe and I take in any part of this football extravaganza? Absolutely not! In fact, most people I know in Port Gentil have no intention of heading to Libreville. You may wonder why as it is a bit of a big deal and nothing much ever happens in Gabon so it should be exciting but we know how things generally happen around here and I'd rather not be in the middle of it. Apparently, all hotel rooms, who even in normal circumstances are ridiculously overpriced, are completely sold out and it's difficult enough to navigate Libreville as a tourist let alone with the addition of 80 000 other foreigners. We'll sit back and enjoy the lull in Port Gentil instead.
This morning I came across a rather funny take on the ACON. Take a look here.