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Cote d Ivoire

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Week 42. Monstadbygg pay school to children.

0 people commented Published by Rune Monstad on Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Bush food.

I didn't do much cycling this week but still managed to meet some nice people as well as staying with this family of about 10 who all live together in a back garden. I can tell you that you are never alone there and there is always something happening. I sat watching some people preparing food, others washing clothes, children playing, animals roaming around........total chaos all the time! One kid was so unhappy because he had to kill a chicken for the first time, that the grandfather who is the chief was quite angry and so the kid just run away.
There were 3 children aged 8 - 9 years old who never went to school because you have to pay for school and which parents' can't simply can't afford. There are so many poor people here who don't understand the point of school as they never went themselves.
I called my brother and asked him if he wanted to help pay for them to go to school and he said yes so I went to the school and paid about 200 us dollar which will be enough for 5 years food and schooling.
I don't think that I have ever seen so many happy children going to school before. They were smiling all day and were so proud. They got their school books and I bought a school bag for them.
I felt so good that day, and it goes to show that it doesn't take too much effort in order to change peoples life for the better.
Some of the children were orphans and there was also one father who has mental problems due to the war. Mostly all the families were poor and all living in one room.
A girl going to school for the very first time.
I have never seen kids being so happy to be going to school.


Week 41, Visa to Ghana

0 people commented Published by Rune Monstad on

Week 41. Abadjan.
I am now in the capital and waiting for some money and a visa to visit Ghana. I'm not very fond of the big city, but have no alternative as it is only there that I can obtain the necessary visa for which ever country I am going to next. This time it is going to cost me anything between 50 to 100 US dollar. I have discovered just how expensive it is for Europeans' to get a visa in Africa.
Whilst "in town" I was invited to lunch at the Norwegian Embassy and it was so nice meeting and talking with Norwegian people again.
On other occasions I would just be hanging around doing nothing whilst waiting.

Week 40, Voodoo

0 people commented Published by Rune Monstad on

I stayed in Daloa for one week trying to restore my energy after having worm extracted from my body. A family invited me to stay with them. Although they live simply, there is so much love in this house.

While I was walking I saw a lady being arrested because she tried to sell one handicap boy to be used in voodoo. She had taken him from a small village and brought him to the big city. It's the Presidential election now and some people believe they will win if they do ritualistic killing. They said that handicapped and young people are preferred, because they are the cleanest. I understand that I am a long way from Norway but it is still very hard to understand and accept.

Week 39, Cote D Ivoire. Anguillules.

2 people commented Published by Rune Monstad on Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Now I've only gone and got worms crawling about under my skin so I saw a doctor who said it was something called "Anguillules" which is contracted from water or food. I must tell you that I have never felt quite as bad as this ever before in my life!!

Week 38, Cote d Ivoire.

0 people commented Published by Rune Monstad on Monday, September 22, 2008

The land is flat and boring again but I can cycle faster because you want it to finish.
Stopped in a small town and asked for a place to sleep. I was invited to stay at the town chiefs house.
The whole town called a meeting in my honour. They were fascinated with the stories I told about my trip so far. The one they liked most was the story about the Cobra in Guinea Bissau.
We drank palm vine and they showed me the chicken and pig that they will kill for me tomorrow. Some ladies sang to me as well.
I am now an honorary member of this town and the town chief has said that I am his adopted son now.

I was prepared and ready to leave this morning but they said I had to stay as there is going to be a big party in my honour. Well, seeing as time is not of importance I stayed.....of course!!
So I spent the day walking round town with the chief and saying hello to the people. The town chiefs' father was King of a very large area here before. I saw his throne which was almost like the one that the King of Norway has.
They killed the chicken today and it was very tasty. Later on they killed the pig.
Before we went to the party I heard that it was because one lady had died 3 days ago. They mourn for 3 days and then have a big party for all of the town. I did my butt dance and it was fun to see so many people laugh at this. They played with instruments and everyone of all ages danced.

King of Bangolo

I did little cycling after the party, what with a hangover from yesterday. I said goodbye to the town chief and everyone else and left with the fond memory of being the "Son of the Town" now.
I came to another town and met some radio people who invited me to their home. One was really like Bob Marley and smoked all of the time whilst playing the guitar.
They told me a lot about the war and what happened when the good time came here. A lot of people from Burkina Faso came here to work. However, when the economics weren't so good, the local people wanted to send them back. Most of them live to the north and are Muslim. Then the war broke out.

Everything is still so green. There are only a few flowers around.
11 spokes have broken on my back wheel and 2 more got broken today so I will have to fix them before moving on.
I met a teacher who invited me home and kindly gave me food and a bed. I'm sitting here with his family now and having a nice time.
People are very poor here, but nothing like in Liberia. Here they have power everywhere and the food is better. I don't have anymore diarrhoea from last week and think maybe my stomach is strong enough for the African food now. Not before time I say.

Met some French army people here and talked with them. They said I was crazy to be cycling here.
They gave me 2 bottles of water before leaving and warned me that there are a lot of problems here, where sometimes the rebels come out from the bush and rob people on the road where I will be cycling.
I use my water cleaner a lot and when I finish I clean the pump which is very often full of muck. I cannot believe that people actually drink this water.
I got real proof today as to just how poor this country really is. When I was cycling into the town I got myself a flat tyre and stopped by a cycle repair shop where this man could fix it. Whilst I was waiting a power line fell down onto the road where, only 5 mins after, I had passed. There were a lot of people walking there as well as there were cars. It was lucky that it didn't fall on anyone or me for that matter. Must have been some insects that had eaten their way through the tree.
Wooden houses don't get to grow old here as it is too wet and many different insects like and live in these trees.
My brother gratefully sent me 100 dollars today. I found a visa machine here which is a first time for long time.

Week 37:Liberia, Bad roads.

0 people commented Published by Rune Monstad on

Bad road, but was beautiful nature and nice weather with sky for the sun. Think I past 4 check point today. No problem, they only wont to know what i do, how far i cycling........
I come little to fast to one big dump and i almost fall down. I hear a terrible sound from the bike and was sure my frame was broken now. Look everywhere and my frame was ok. But 2 spoke in front wheel and 7 spoke in back wheel get broken. My back wheel is bad now and I jumping up and down when I cycling on my crooked wheel after thats..
Was invited to stay with the border police in Cote d Ivoire today. They speak French, but one of they speak English so I have a nice time with them.
I show them some picture from my trip and they love the picture from Colombia where I stay with the army.

The Ivory Coast has 17 million inhabitants. There has been civil war here to and it is still quite unsafe. People hope for peace in the near future, but many believe that there will be war again. The UN are here of which I have passed 2 UN checkpoints and 4 military checkpoint in one day.
One good thing that comes out of the rainy season is that everywhere everything has turned into vibrant shades of green. There are more mountains here and so much more beautiful nature. It is so pleasant and rewarding when biking in with so much beautiful nature around.
I stayed in a guest house for 2 dollar per night. There was a shower that actually had water, albeit cold and there aws even electrical power. I have to say that it's been a very long time ago since I've seen anything like that in a guest house.
Would you believe it, I've gone a got diarrhea again! I can't tell how boring this is. Usually the stomach gets stronger after some weeks with different bacterias but that's certainly not happening to me! I got so little sleep as I was on the toilet all night. I really hope that things will be better tomorrow.

Last Updated ( Monday, 06 April 2009 15:51 )