Friday, May 27, 2005


I found syber with one computer that supports USB keey and after an hour i am sending you few days ago written things.....

Wednesday, 25th may


Again there was nobody waiting for me at the airport (as in Lisbon last year), but this time I just waited saying to myself “I’m in Africa” and things were solved out. This friend of Marta, who works on the airport helped me with the luggage (imagine you have to wait 2 h to get your luggage, on a crowdie airport on around 30 degrees Celsius, when you can only smell people’s sweat around you) and kindly called the guys that should pick me up. Tnx.

To sum up my departure from Slovenia on, I must say there were just the right people at the right place at the right time around me. “Ignacio” who arranged this job for me, “Begs” who kindly borrowed me the net (to prevent mosquitoes to bite me) in the last minute before I left and told me some very useful information, Peter and Damjan, who took me to the airport and borrowed me money for extra luggage (paying in cash is not an option, only cards and I already withdraw all my money cause they don’t even know cash machine here), “Laurence” who made my flight from Venice to London very pleasant specially with the conversation we had about what I am above to do (I needed that!!!!), Pedro, the guy who I met outside the airport of Porto, who helped me with my luggage (I couldn’t have make it on my own), Helena, who kindly accepted me to live in Lisbon in the same flat as I lived last year (really great!!!), Marieke, who I met on the plane to Guinea Bissau and that guy on the airport. Thank you all!!!!!


I finally found a way to plug in my computer in the house where I live. I can only do it during the day, because electricity works using sun cells on the roof. ;)

Yes, life here is much different than in Europe. As I said I l live in a house, together with around 20 orphans, witch my hostess Celestin kindly accepted to her house. As I mentioned Celestin, who is the “woman” in the house, Katerina, her daughter, Albino, her husband, Filipa, her ount and an old man (don’t know his name), also live here. Great family! Amazing is, that a monkey, a dog and a few chickens also live with us. ;)

The children are very nice and hardworking. They get up very early in the morning. Some of them go to school; the others are cleaning the house, preparing food for lunch, feeding the animals… Celestin works as a nurse, while Albino works as a doctor in a hospital.

I eat three times per day, mainly rice, witch I was not in favour of in Slovenia, but do like it here. Why? Because there are all kinds of unusual stuff I can not even pronounce, so rice became my favourite dish. Of course I like experimenting new stuff, but some of them I really can’t.


I work in “Damas English language school”. I somehow made a deal to work only in the afternoon. I’ll try to describe the situation in this school.

There is only one classroom, but three groups of people are being taught at the same time. We have three blackboards, three teachers and around 30 pupils at the same time in one classroom. Even though my knowledge of English is not perfect I do speak very well comparing to them. When I try to talk with the teachers I nearly can understand what they are saying. The pupils are being taught by “American language course”. That means they start with book 1 and after a few years they finish with book 34. Teachers ended up with book 20, when they started the profession of being a teacher. I must say I do like to teach, specially because I learn more and more Portuguese while explaining them some things, because pupils are very nice and because everything is very new for me, but still wouldn’t like to be a teacher when I finish my school. ;)


Guinea Bissau has lots of ethnic groups, and consequently lots of languages. The official language is Portuguese, but not all of them can speak it. More or less everyone speaks Ciriol, witch is very similar to Portuguese. Apart from that two, different ethnic groups speak: Balanta, Fula, Manfaco, Mancanha, Pepeia, MAndiga, Djacanca and Fulupes. My goal is to speak all of them ;) Joke. That would be impossible. Also locals can’t speak all above named languages.

The country itself is very small, a bit bigger than Slovenia, and has around 1.200.000 habitants. It has lots of palm trees, unusual things growing from the earth; witch is a work of termites, some kinds of animals. The streets are full of hols, dirty and rarely covered with asphalt. They do have cars, but they are in extremely bad condition. Ok, I’ll pronounce myself as brave; I drove a car here ;) Yes, this was really an extreme dose of adrenalin! The market is stinky, but full of incredible things that are being sold. Will tell you more in next few days, when I’ll have a chance for sightseeing.


Kumba Iala, was a president of the state from 2001 until people of Guinea Bissau removed him in 2003. Guinea Bissau has had a temporary president since than. The thing is Kumba Iala wants to be a president again, so he called himself a president and went to presidential palace. His argument was that a county can’t have a temporary president for more than a year. People disagree with his move. There were many conflicts with the army, a car has been burnet, and people are going to the streets expressing their disagreement. Elections for the president are coming on the 19th of June. There are many candidates, some sources say around 20. The situation here is quite worrying, especially because of the situation in witch the country is right now; poor people, bad infrastructure, extremely bad economic position.


Muslims and Catholics live together in the same city. No harm done.


  • Once I went with my college to see his family. There was his mother and his sister with her just being borne twins. They were born 2 months too early. In Slovenia they would have kept them in an incubator, here, they are lying in a basket on the floor, being covered only with a net against mosquitoes.
  • Monkey tied up like a dog in Slovenia; outside on the garden
  • Masterpiece work of termites. I’ll show you what I mean when I will have a chance to take photo of them.
  • Can you imagine a lazy chicken crawling on the floor to escape the sun?


At 5:09 AM, Blogger Tiago said...

Uau Irena, great posts! It is fascinating to read your testimonials. Keep up the great work!


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