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Friday, March 25, 2011

Bobby!


That's the name of the guard dog that patrols my sector of the worksite.  The other day (no camera unforunately), I heard the distinct sound of a baboon right outside my office door.  Now, the door doesn't catch when pulled together and only locks from the outside so I use a chair to keep it closed.  Anyway, after hearing this sound I looked out the window and so at least 10 baboons (including babies) near my door.  I also saw Bobby who was lying on the ground licking himself while the baboons circulated nearby presumably without fear.

My only explanation for Bobby's seeming disinterest is that he follows the same rules of engagement as our troops in Afghanistan.  In other words, he cannot fire until fired upon.  Even then, he can't fire if he suspects there are civilians in the area.  He's a sweet dog but I'm not sure if he's got what it takes to win the "war."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Pleasant Discovery



I have been looking at this view for a few days now and never noticed before--but, I can actually see the bay from my worksite!  I guess the haze/fog of March had blocked this before.  The first picture is what I saw before (with monkeys).  The second is what I saw today.  A big difference!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Found It!

The way to avoid solicitation, harassment, and just being bothered in general.  I really shouldn't share this secret though as I could make a fortune selling it to the expat community in Djibouti.  Oh well, here it is.  The key to eliminating the above is to run; run everywhere you go!  I've found that when I run during my workouts, no one bothers me nor even tries.  It's not because they don't want to disturb me because lord knows that hasn't stopped them from interrupting me while reading, eating or even carrying boxes.  There's just something about running that repels your average street vendor or worse.  So, that's the secret to being left alone in Djibouti.  From now on, like Forest Gump, I will run everywhere I go in this country!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Wish I'd Had A Camera

Out at the work site, I saw some really big baboons that had wondered closer than they ever had before.  The dogs didn't seem to be around and so, I figured these were more of a threat than usual.  Right when I was considering making a face-saving retreat, several of the Djiboutians picked up rocks and started hurling them.  This worked quite effectively and now I know the weapon of choice should we be invaded again.  I really wish I'd had a camera though.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Room With a View


These two pictures were taken literally 50 feet from my worksite!  The baboons seem relatively tame and the dogs in the camp also seem to keep them in line.  Good thing because there's nothing here to stop them from entering whenever they want.  What with the terrible weather and wildlife, what chances do you give me for surviving the next six months?

On The Way To Arta


I drove up to Arta the other day for work and it was pouring the rain!  This is very unusual in Djibouti and dangerous on what are already poor roads.  To make matters worse, there was a lot of  fog up in the mountains.  Not only did I have to keep the car on the road, but I also had to look out for pedestrians.  A word of warning, it's not a good thing walking in the middle of the highway during zero visibility.  I've attached a photo of what I had to deal with much of the trip.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

And you thought I couldn't do it

relate Africa to Georgia that is!  Read the article below about Georgia attempting to woo South African farmers to their country for agricultural development purposes.  Nothing is without controversy though . . .

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/going-caucasian-tbilisi-wooing-white-africans/432117.html

Arta Revisited

I drove up to Arta today on a work-related trip.  As you may recall from some of my earlier posts, Arta is a town about 40 kilometers west of the capital and where many important officials spend their holidays.  It overlooks the sea and is kept very tidy by the local population.  But, more importantly for me, the temperature is usually between 7-10 celsius lower than in the capital.  I hope to go out there again many times for a respite from the weather this summer.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Some Familiar Sights

It's so surreal returning to a place you never thought you'd see again.  I'd always planned to return to Georgia but I never thought Djibouti was a possibility.  Yet, here I am.  So many things are familiar with memory buttons being pressed constantly by external stimuli.  For example, it didn't take me long to figure out the purpose of the ubiquitous plastic bags on the streets.  Another, I had forgotten how the taxi drivers use the word 'Yes!' as a question rather than a response when soliciting a fare.  For those of you who have been here, you know what I mean:)

I mentioned in my last post how I'd flown through Nairobi and Addis Ababa.  Most people would prefer the former but I was unexplainably drawn to the latter in the short time I was there.  I can't explain this except that it might have been caused by the euphoria I was feeling in being so close to the end of a lengthy trip.  Anyway, I'd like to spend some more time there.

The worst effects of the jetlag are gone after two days although I still get an uncontrollable urge to nap at odd hours.  I should be fine soon.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Survived . . .

another trip to Djibouti.  After a short flight to Atlanta and a long one (15 hours) to South Africa, I was incredibly exhausted.  The four-hour flight to Nairobi didn't seem so bad until I found out the next flight wasn't direct to Djibouti but had a stop in Addis Ababa.  Still, I enjoyed seeing it as I had never been there before.  Once I got off the plane, I was whisked away to start some in-processing but finally got to my hotel around 1700.  The next three or four days should be very light and give me a chance to overcome the jetlag.  I hope to meet some of you that live here and have been reading the blog.  Don't be shy!  Also, Kayla, I didn't forget about your comment and will try to write you in the morning.  Now, I have got to get some rest.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

In South Africa

and awaiting my flight to Nairobi with a final destination of Djibouti.  I misjudged the flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg; it was actually 15 hours and I'm really tired right now despite the fact I slept about six hours on the plane.  I will board the flight in about 90 minutes but won't arrive in Djibouti until about 11 hours from now.  Please check my grammar because I'm kind having blurred vision at the moment!