Sao Tome and Principe Partnership


Sunday March 9 by administrator
March 9, 2008, 5:04 pm
Filed under: Phase Three Prep

Four full days into our current trip to Sao Tome and Principe and it feels like we’ve been here for weeks. Our voyage to get here had its ups and downs. The flight out of Chicago through London to Lisbon worked well. Our hotel in Lisbon was perfect and we found a nice restaurant that offered traditional Portuguese food. Unfortunately, the airline that took us from Lisbon to Sao Tome made us jump through some hoops with regard to visas and baggage weight before we could leave Lisbon.

At the airport in Sao Tome, we were greeted on the tarmac by Helcio, a good friend from our previous trips to Sao Tome. While clearing customs, we encountered Elvis, another friend, who helped welcome us back to the Island.

After getting our bags through customs, we went to where we would stay for the next three weeks. Jake is staying with Ned Segilman, an American who directs Step-up, an NGO in Sao Tome. Ned was the director of the Peace Corps when it operated in the country. His house is on a bay that has the airport on one side and an amazing view of the city on the other side.

Paul is staying with Jorge Coelho, his former student. Jorge is currently with the maritime administration. He has a condo near the airport, equiped with airconditioning when there is electricity.

Day one was very full. We reconnected with other friends. Jake helped James Neves troubleshoot computers in his Internet cafe. He also participated in a news feature on international women’s day that was broadcasted on local tv. Luckily, our friends were able to understand the sentence that he said in Portuguese.

Paul caught up with Jorge and the latest local political news.

After a good night sleep, the morning of Day 2 we headed in different directions. Jake troubleshot more computers at Step-up. Paul’s morning involved a series of set backs which started with a flat tire. That was followed with a dead battery. That was followed with cell phone issues. The previous number had been cancelled. Once the number was reactivated there were issues with the battery and charger. The day became more productive with lunch and friends at Cafe e Compahnia.

The priority next week is the delivery of our computers by the US Navy. Over 110 computer systems were shipped from the US in December. The Navy offered to transport them to Sao Tome prior to the big computer lab build out during the summer. Storage space needs to be secured before next week. We went out to the Voice of America facility to discuss storage possibilities with the manage. It appears that this is not a viable option.

Dinner was at a small restaurant in the park downtown. The fish was once again excellent.
Saturday and Sunday were low key with rest as a high priority after a long journey. Jake spent Saturday morning reading for his systems analysis class on the porch at Ned’s. Paul joined in the afternoon for a good conversation with Ned imvolving potential future projects.

On Day 4, Sunday, we started with a slow morning and a late lunch at Neds. We were then joined by Jorge, who took us to see his property on the East side of the island near Santana where he plans to built a new home with guest house. Dinner with friends was a barbaque of fish and wild boar at his apartment. Planning for the upcoming week ended the evening. Excitement is high with the anticipation of the arrival of our computers in a few days.

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Reading through your report makes me quite jealous that I’m not there, too. Please send my warmest greetings to James, Valdamera (sp?), Elvis, Helcio, and Jorge! I wish I could have been there to meet Ned in person, too. Let me know if there’s anything I can be doing from here to help.

Comment by Martin Wolske

Hi Paul and Jake,
Stay healthy, fun, active, productive and happy!!!
I am looking forward to hearing more stories.
Great work!!!
Sunny

Comment by Sunny

Paul and Jake,
Finally, the computers arrive! Congratulations, look how far this project has come! Please say hello to Jorge and Helcio for me. I’m interested to hear more about the Landscape Architecture possibilities. With the heat as high as it is you’ll need to stay hydrated, I’m sure that won’t be a problem for you two. Enjoy!
Vicki

Comment by Vicki




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