Peace Corps Gabon: 1997-1999 - FROM THE JOURNALS OF THIS MAD 2+ YEAR TRIP

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Peace Corps Gabon: 1997-1999 - FROM THE JOURNALS OF THIS MAD 2+ YEAR TRIP

Peace Corps Gabon: 1997-1999 - FROM THE JOURNALS OF THIS MAD 2+ YEAR TRIP

Peace Corps Gabon: 1997-1999

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"Weird wood burns well." -RPVC John Parkinson.

Mural on school in Nkinen. Gabon. Painting and Photo Copyright 1999. Stacy Jupiter


April 4 (1998) For some reason I feel like this date is important, but I can't remember why. Perhaps it's from the U2 song . . . "Early morning/ April 4/ Shot rings out from the Memphis sky" . . . . There were lots of little things today that were treasures-I noticed someone had placed the dried palm branches all along the bottom edge of the garden (probably old Mama Ambroisine). Feuilles de manioc-always a bonus. The bug squishing trick cracked me up . . . .

August 6 (1998). . . . Yes, folle that I am, I really walked all night into Medouneu and it was as crazy as the idea. . . . I strapped on the backpack and headlamp and set out for N'koumadza with Jean-Noel and Wally. We began to hear the beating drums while still over a kilometer from N'koumadza. Now this was a wild retraite de deuil. Les gens sont sauvages. I threw down my pack and jumped into the thck of it. The bongo player astounded me with his mighty leaps-still holding and playing the two bongos between his legs while in the air. "Crip" started talking to me and offered a glass of malamba. I said ok, but Crip's father wanted to be the one to serve the wine. This provoked a huge debacle. "$#@^%&," they shouted back and forth. Crip hypnotized Pops into a lulled stupor, whereupon he sprang up, grabbed the bidon of malamba and made off like a banshee into the night. Funniest thing I'd seen all week . . . .

February 1 (1999) A rat, literally the size of Trystan, was just spotted "using the facilities" of my W.C. It was literally perched over the hole. It saw my lantern light and still continued its business. I actually had to say to it, out loud, "Well, are you just going to sit there?" And even then he only sauntered off.

March 1 (1999) Cape Town . . . .The best road trip game-an alphabetized list of "Things That Come With Instructions" . . . .

Table Mountain. Cape Town. South Africa. Copyright 1999. Stacy Jupiter

March 21 (1999) Lemonade and lemonhead. The boys brought me up 2 marche trucks worth of ripe lemons that I hand squeezed to make homemade lemonade. I also tried to get some sun-kissed highlights, but I don't know if it worked. (Idea for next contest: timed push-car obstacle course). Played some hacky sack and gave the devil sticks a workout. Music mayhem with the kids on balaphone, mvet and shaker. Today was definitely play day . . . .

MAY 31 (1999) Kokrobite, Ghana. Aaah, Ghana . . .relaxation as a perfected art. Big Milly's Backyard is not an easy place to find, but that makes it all the more special. . . . In a coconut grove, on a white sandy beach, beneath palm-thatched shelters I lounge. The waves crest and roll as the fishermen haul in their nets . . . . A full moonrise stroll and we found ourselves teamed up with a village, singing away the toil of bringing in a sea vessel. . . .

August 13 (1999) . . . the bad luck continues . . .as well it should since it's Friday the 13th. Got a car from Medouneu to Oboui, but now I sit not 10 km from town watching the TP make a mess of a perfectly rotten road. A quote from my right: "Il y a que les bricoleurs." Well said.. So I'm muddy again for the sake of good photography . . .

"What a long, strange trip it's been."

Photo of Stacy and Leontine in peanut field copyright 1998 Caleb Shaffer

Photo of Stacy at fish harvest copyright 1997 Amy Jean Patterson

Photo of Bwiti ceremony copyright 1998 Amy West

All other photos copyright 1999 Stacy Jupiter


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