The morning after the night before in Africa

25 Nov

Last night was a long night. Less than 2 hours sleep. Insignificant noises that seem aggressive and keep you awake. Images in your head stronger than a movie.  Not enough wine, house smelling of smoke… Today is zombie day. Tonight, will be a surprise. Either too tired to stay up or too freaked out to turn the lights off.


Today we paid a house visit to Gaspard, our security guard who was resting at home after last night’s tormented events. We got him some medication, a cane and what I hope was too, some moral support for that was all that I could do for him on my level… It was good to see him…

We went by for a second visit later at night. He was improving, sitting up straight with a beer on the table. His wife was cheerful, happy to see us. She asked me to sit down by her side on the sofa saying that I am now her friend. I felt honored as since I’ve been here I’ve realised that I will rarely be a Guinean’s friend… His mother and sister came all the way from Ebebiyín in the Northeast of Rio Muni, on the border line with Gabon and Cameroon, where they both live, convinced to find her son dead. She brought us all the way from her village a pineapple to thank us for helping her son. Needless to mention her happiness when she arrived to find Gaspard alive, although wounded and weak.

She took both of my hands in hers when I approached her. Gaspard does the same when he sees me… Down here, this seems to be a big sign of respect towards a person. It is a big compliment to me and the friendliest gesture I’ve had from a Guinean since I arrived.

Their shack is small. No electricity and with the bare necessities if not fewer… But the welcoming feeling and the joy of having us among them was huge !

They wanted to offer us some drinks. Taking what seemed to be their fancy serving glasses, champagne glasses, out of the cupboard… As they were slamming themselves every minute or so trying to kill another biting mosquito on a leg or an arm, I got cold feet and told them we would be back tomorrow to check up on them and drink to Gaspard’s recovery. Bugs are less scary with the sun shining down on them… But that put aside, I am looking forward to share this moment with them tomorrow.

Night is here… Has it brought with it some sleep ?…


One Response to “The morning after the night before in Africa”

  1. ima November 26, 2010 at 9:44 AM #

    So, has the night bring you some sleep? Poor Gaspard, what an experience for him! Is he going to resume his job? Maybe he should have something to defend himself while on duty. Enjoy your ananas! Pusi

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