I’ve unfortunately had to leave a Côte d’Ivoire a bit earlier than I had planned. After nearly six months in the country (which went by insanely fast despite délestage) you would have thought that most everything that needing doing and seeing was covered to some degree. But, it’s amazing how when once back to your home country, you realized how much was missed.
For obvious starters, BarCamp Africa did not come about. This was due to many factors which will someday be part of a larger treatise to put on that site, but suffice to say, it was an ambitious project that fell prey to many limitations. The list is large, but the biggest one deals with the cost and time of travel in Africa. Highway Africa is one of the few pan-African, multilingual events that happens each year and knowing what goes in to making an event like that happen, I have to say that I am in awe. I hope that someday, the BarCamp Africa will actually happen somewhere in Africa and be a smashing success though.
I am happy to have paid one last visit to Maison de la Lagune although it’s disheartening to see how it is spiraling out of control with these large, obnoxious groups including the ever idiotic French Licorne troops. I’m sure the owner is tired of the constant seven day a week schedule as well. But on the issue of travel, it’s unfortunate that I never got the chance to take one of the water taxis across the lagoon. Even the most hardened and acerbic of staff at ONUCI will attest to how nice that boat ride is… if done outside of commute hours. It was a lot of fun to have visited Treichville one day though as that is a fantastic neighborhood. Although on the same token, I will never set foot in Koumassi again, even if prodded by the wrong end of a gun. Lord I hate that neighborhood and their twatful lime green taxi drivers.
But probably the most frustrating thing I missed was not getting out to San Pedro. While visiting a town named the same as one near Los Angeles had mere entertainment value, it was more the fact that I’ve been to the North, South, East, and center of Côte d’Ivoire, but I never made it to the West. I suppose there is always a next time someday.
But more than anything, despite the malaria, heat rash, lack of power, lack of water, and any number of other troublesome problems, I’ve finally understood why it is that people miss Africa so much after having lived there for some time. I can’t tell you why this is and it’s not that I won’t tell you because I want to be an ass, but there is an appeal to it that goes above and beyond simple comparisons. Taken singularly, there are a great many things to hate on their own, but taken as a whole and once away from it, there is something that seems to always beckon from the continent where we humans all came from in the beginning. I suppose that no matter what our beliefs, we know this and we work so hard to act as if we don’t.
But best of luck in the World Cup, Côte d’Ivoire. And best of luck with Gbagbo and Soro. You will need it and then some…