Sunday, October 24, 2010

Maputo, Mozambique (October 2010)

[A gorgeious sunrise that I luckily took at 5Am on one morning. It took only seconds for the sun to rise.]

[Cathedral that stands lofty downtown.... The Iron House designed by Mr. Eiffel, but unlivable because of the heat and humidity since it is made only of steel. Now it is a heritage center.]

[Central Railway Station that is 100 years old. The War Memorial Statue with a woman holding a snake that she caught using a hot portige soup. But commemorates the solidies who fought at The World War I.]
[Southern Sun Hotel where we stayed ... It is facing the Indian Ocean and the scenery was panoramic.]
Kristin and I traveled to Maputo, Mozambique taking advantage of Jeffrey's trip to attend the OI Africa CEO conference held in Maputo.
We arrived on Saturday (October 16th), very late, and the next morning we discovered that we slept right at the beach. It was a pleasant surprise! Ahhh... the soothing sounds of the breaking waves.
We took the city tour on Sunday: Central Railway Station, The Iron House (designed by Mr. Eiffel who designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris, The War Memorial (interesting a woman statue holding a snake), Visit to the Central Market (We bought a lot of cashewnuts), Botanical Gardens, Cathedral. several ministry buildings.

There are three-wheeler vehicle that you can ride to take a look around the city. They are called "Tuk-Tuk." We were planning to ride it, but ours had a bad engine so we ended up using a taxi. And I forgot to take a photo.
On Monday and Tuesday, we were originally planning to visit Swaziland, but we ended up cancelling it because the costs were too high for a marginal benefit, in light of the border fees to pay to entere the Swaziland and reentrance visa fee to Mozambique, and transportation fees. So we ended up deferring it until later, hopefully.

So we relaxed quite a bit on both days, but we enjoyed the famous seafood of Mozambique every dinner. We went to Sagres, Costa do Sol and Spicy Thai. They all were wonderful! I ate a lot of delicious seafood so that I may not miss them for quite some time.

One morning at 5AM, I caught the moment of the sun rising over the horizon. As usual, it was a breath-taking and gorgeous. So here they are.
We were grateful for the opportunity to see and experience another African country. - Jeffrey

Monday, October 11, 2010

Accra, Ghana (September 2010)

[At the memorial center for Dr. Kwame Nkrumae, the first president of Ghana who led the country as part of the Pan-African vision.]

I participated in a week-long Opportunity International Africa conference that took place in Accra, Ghana, in September 2010. I had an opportunity to look around in the city of Accra, the capital city of Ghana on Friday and Saturday.

Ghana is called "the Gateway to West Africa." It is the transportation hub to many neighboring countries. It borders with Togo (East), Burkina Faso (North) and Ivory Coast (West). All neighboring countries are Francophone, but Ghana is Anglophone along with Liberia and Nigeria.
[Huge bamboo trees]
Ghanians, as they are called, are very friendly and warm people. Ghana is a safe country with political stability. But the country's weather is hot and humid since it is close to the equator and facing the Atlantic Ocean to the south.
Together with other conference participants, I walked around the Makalo Market located in the center of Accra. It has everything you need, literally. It is huge and you can be easily lost if you do not know the way around. We also visited an Art Center where you can buy many traditional souvenirs. It was full of small shops where very aggressive solicitation was rampant. We also visited the Memorian Center for Dr. Kwame Nkrumae, the first president of Ghana. He was a visionary who saw the Pan-African vision and actually shared resources to help other neighboring countries attain the state independence, such as Guinea.

On Saturday, we visited the city's Botanical Garden that was built by the British colonists 110 years ago. We saw very interesting trees, plants, flowers and vegetables.
[A ficus tree emptied by a parasyte tree. This photo was taken inside the tree towards the top.]
More than anything else, I was able to enjoy a variety of dilicious seafood that is rare delicacy in Rwanda.

Overall, it was short but sweet. - Jeffrey