Friday, January 27, 2012


A friend of a friend posted this picture on facebook, saying it was taken in Angola near the southern border with Namibia.

What a dinosaur!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Huíla Biophilia

Here are the last of our pictures from our trip to Huíla province in October. Our friend Akisha took us to a local agricultural school for a picnic. This was a really beautiful day for us. Luanda is a huge city but, unlike New York, it has no Central Park where you can go escape things for a little while. Parks in Luanda tend to be littered with trash, have little shade and are a fairly unappealing way to get time outdoors. To get out of the city you have to fight against hours of traffic. I kind of envied Akisha for having a place like this just an hour outside of her town.

Biophilia is a theory proposed by E.O. Wilson that humans have an "innate affinity for nature" that is even "ingrained in our genotype." I was definitely feeling the love on this day. I hadn´t realized how much I was missing being outdoors, laying in the sun, breathing fresh air, not hearing traffic accidents and sirens at all hours until I laid down on the picnic blanket under some eucalyptus trees and took a nap.

Student carved their names on the steps of the school entrance.

Portuguese Azulejo

An old church on the school grounds.

Fragrant eucalyptus trees.

We also visited an old Afrikaans cemetery. Afrikaaners are the descendants of Dutch colonists from South Africa. They migrated all over southern Africa up until the 1900´s. I hadn´t known they made it as far an Angola.

Related Posts:

All Posts about Huíla

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Nossa Vida em Luanda

When we were home for Christmas in Florida, we got lots of questions about our life in Luanda. Here is our life in summary:

Where do we live?

We live in Luanda, the capital of Angola (not to be confused with Rwanda, a different country in central Africa). The picture above is our building and the picture below is of Tyree in the living room in our apartment. Luanda is a huge city with somewhere between 5 and 8 million people. There high rise buildings and stores where you can buy almost anything you would need. The city has some infrastructure issues, like reliable electricity and public transportation, but it has most modern conveniences like a mall, cinema, restaurants and nightclubs.

What do we eat?

Mostly Tyree cooks for us, but we also like to eat out. Our favorite restaurants are Broadway (Indian) and Capricciosa (Pizza). Usually we shop at Supermercado Martal or Tyree buys vegetables from the ladies who sell produce on the street called zungueiras.

What does Heather really do?

I am the Health Director at World Vision Angola. That means that I manage the malaria and polio projects that WV implements in five different provinces. Mostly I write reports, make sure project coordinators have money in the field, make visits to the projects and look for new projects. The picture above is my desk at the office in Luanda. The picture below is me getting a malaria test during a training for health workers in Uige province.

How do we communicate?

I like the picture above because it shows how much the world is changing and the interesting way that Africa is developing. We may not always have electricity, but laptops and wireless internet mean we can skype with our families even if it has to be by candlelight.

Here are some fun posts from 2011:

The Sacred Heart of Tyree
The Witchcraft Lake in Uige
Luanda: The Most Expensive City in the World
China in Angola
Trip to Lubango

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why Were Our Suitcases So Heavy?

Because you can´t get Red Hots or corn tortillas at Shoprite.

Our two suitcases were 54 lbs each, only slightly over the weight limit for Delta and South African Airways. And we carried even more food in our carry on bags. The sad thing is, I have so little discipline when it comes to candy, this will only last a few months.