Sunday, June 28, 2009

Exciting Weekend

We had a very exciting weekend filled with trips to the Blue Lagoon, Neves (Nevish), the beach, and STeP UP’s 5th birthday party. Friday night we went to Pestana, a luxury resort with nightclub and it cost way to much money. I wasn’t excited about going when I heard it was $10 to get in the door. Anyway, we went and it was empty because no locals can afford the entry fee while still having a good time. We want to go again as an end of the trip celebration but it’s just too expensive.

STeP UP's Birthday Cake

Saturday we started nice and easy at the beach before heading to STeP UP’s 5th anniversary party. The Minister of Education was in attendance and there was great food as well as cake. After we headed to a soccer game where security was tighter than the airport; army personnel with guns, police with riot gear and a barbed wire fence surrounding the entire field. The game was calm, thankfully, but it had a lot of energy and I found myself yelling at the officials with the rest of the crowd during a few bad calls.

Fun in the sand. OLPC.

Riot Gear: These Police appeared to be the officials personal guards

Sunday we started bright and early with a trip to Neves to eat crab. Neves is located at the north west end of the island, about an hours drive. We stopped at the Lagoa Azul for a quick photo opportunity. Driving through the country shows a completely different side of Sao Tome. Despite having a much lower quality of life, fish and fruit are abundant year round on the island so no one is going hungry. We ate fantastic fresh crab and took the trip with two other Americans from Seattle who are with the Mobility Project, an international NGO setup to provide wheelchairs to third world countries. Tuesday they will deploy 60 wheelchairs as a trial run for the 200-400 they would like to bring in the future. After eating we left to go to James’ (our local contact) aunt. We had another meal (again, fantastic) and met lots of his cousins and uncle. We were witness to an impromptu dance performance at the house next door and eventually returned home.

Old Tree near the Lagoa Azul

Crab in Neves

This week we will start working with the teachers to get the ready to teach lessons using the XO.

Lots of pictures! YAY!
-XO Mike