Equatorial Guinea

The following posts tell about my trip to Equatorial Guinea. Through words and photos I hope to succesfully share my experiences. I've decided to do this on a day by day basis. I hope you enjoy. If there's anything I may have missed, or something you'd like to know...please email me at michaelh@uwyo.edu. Thank you all for your unconditional support of me, both financially and spiritually. Without you, this trip wouldn't have happened. More on Africa here: http://53lat158long.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Day 6- We got up early today in order to clean up our stuff and get the church ready for the Sunday morning service we thought was at 8 or 8:30. However, being as we were on Africa time, the service didn't actually start until about 10. This time Andy was told that he would be speaking, and had a little more time to prepare something.

After the service, I went outside to investigate a yellow string hanging between two bushes that I noticed from inside. It turned out to be a huge spider's web. The sprawled out spider was about the size of my hand. We took some nice close up shots with it, only to find out later that it is a fairly poisonous and dangerous species.

This afternoon, Garrett and I went out with Francisco, Juan Manuel, and young local man about our age. When he was very young, he had planted a coconut tree in his "backyard". The tree was now full grown, and he gladly shimmied 30 feet up it and tossed down about eight coconuts. This is just another example of the abundant generosity of the people here. Garrett then entertained everybody by juggling the coconuts, while Francisco and the local cut them up with a machete for us to eat and drink.

We showed the film in Luba that night. We had a bit of extra time before out showing, so we stopped by one of the plazas near the ocean and played some soccer with a bunch of teenagers. We held our own...I think I even scored a goal. As we were leaving, all the little kids gave us soccer super star names. Stokes was Ronaldo, Garrett was Henry, and I was Ballack.

I gave my testimony between reels again tonight. I think I did much better, and didn't leave anything out of it. The showing tonight was one of our best...there was at least 30 people saved. One military guy came forward after the film and said that he has been possessed since he arrived in Equatorial Guinea. Carlos and George spent a lot of time with him.

One of my only complaints about the trip is the occasional lack of organization and passing of information down to everyone. For example, after the showing a bunch of teenagers approached me asking for Bibles, and wondering where the nearest churches are, and where churches are in Malabo. I had a hard time explaining where the churches were, and I didn't know any of their names. Some of the drama team guys came over and helped to answer their questions a little later, so it all worked out.

We then packed up all our stuff and headed off to the beach, where we were camping out for the night. Garrett, George, Andy, and I got a ride with a guy we met at the showing. Being as we were the first vehicle in our caravan, when we reached one of the military checkpoints along the way, we all had to get out and show our passports. The checkpoint barrier basically consisted of 2x4's placed on top of some 50 gallon drums, with some road spikes in the opening...not exactly the best barrier. There was two extremely drunk young guards with super old semi-automatic rifles. Even if the guards were sober enough to hold the guns up and shoot them, they were so old I seriously doubt they would have even fired. They made the passengers walk through the checkpoint while the driver drove through it.

The closer we got to the beach, the more crabs we ran over on the road. It's comparable to all the road kill on I-25, between Casper and Sheridan. Once we got to the beach we set up tents and hammocks, and built a small campfire to provide a little light. At one point, a military man came strolling through and told Andy that we were supposed to pay to be here. This was his attempt at getting some money out of us, and it happened a few other times. Andy told him that the locals (drama team and Carlos) had the money, and to go talk to them. The man just walked right past them, realizing they were local and that they would know you don't have to pay to be on the beach. A major problem here is the corruption of government officials, and their attempts to make a quick buck.

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