Friday, November 21, 2008

Week 16: Out & About in Luanda

Nov 15 - 21, 08

On Saturday we got a school bus to take us down to the Marginal with the plan to walk around a section of the city we hadn’t explored yet & have lunch. Bill’s twisted ankle from his soccer game limited our options somewhat. We knew where we wanted to explore & walked around for about an hour at the most before he simply couldn’t keep going. So we backtracked to the Intercontinental Hotel which sits one block back from the Marginal, and has just recently been renovated. It has a roof-top bar that we wanted to check out for view, general ambiance and food. Despite it being a very hot & sunny Saturday afternoon, the bar was virtually deserted. It had a great view looking down over a main pedestrian square (with a “map” of Angola laid out in huge rocks). We spent maybe a couple of hours there reading our books & watching people pass by. The final of the Angolan soccer season was due to start later in the afternoon (the stadium is about a 5 minute walk from the hotel) & we saw a huge police presence – blocking off roads around the stadium so no cars could go down, so traffic under where we were sitting got pretty congested at times.

There was also a good view out over the marginal, ilha & the bay in-between. The haze that existed when we first arrived in Luanda has virtually gone – so we had a clear view of all the container ships sitting out in the bay, waiting to be allowed to unload.

The rooftop was divided into three sections – the bar itself in the center, tables overlooking the square where we sat, & on the other side the toilets & a series of deck chairs, and an outdoor shower. No sign of a pool, but maybe that is still to be completed. Along that side of the roof, was a series of local paintings such as you see at Benfica market, with telephone numbers (possibly of the artist?). As there was absolutely no one around, I took advantage of the situation to rather cheekily take a few photos so you can see what the local art tends to look like.

To me much of it looks very similar to what we saw in Zanzibar, although the baobabs seem typically Angolan countryside. It is all very stylized.The bar only did sandwiches for food, so we walked back to our favourite pizza restaurant before heading back home. The pizzas are very good & it always amazes us that we manage to eat one each.

Sunday was a quiet day at home – we both had to go to school to get ready for Monday (Bill still had reports to write). The rest of the week was typically uneventful with the exception of Thursday night. The teachers were playing the gardeners at soccer & nothing would have dragged Bill away from playing, but I decided to go the Angola Field Group’s Thursday evening meeting at the Viking Club for the first time. The main incentive for me to go wasn’t the programme (a local movie about AIDS & HIV in Angola) but the fact that there was going to be a series of things being sold & I had xmas shopping on my mind. There was a bus-load of us going in & we arrived in the city just after 7pm. There was a DVD on Kuduru – a local music & dance style for sale (I didn’t buy), a bilingual (Portuguese & English) photo book on Angola (just published this month) which I did buy, as well as lots of craft items made by local orphanages. There were very cute African dolls with their baby tied on their back (unfortunately I couldn’t think of anyone the right age to give one too), table napkins, aprons etc made out of local fabric. I bought myself a small handbag made of crochet & coke can rings! Having gone for the shopping (& spent a ton of money within 15 minutes) I would have been quite happy to go straight home for an early night, but we stayed to watch the movie “A Strong Heart”. It was an hour long, in Portuguese, but with English subtitles. It was focused on discrimination faced by those with AIDS or HIV. It was excellent – I think it is the best film on AIDS/HIV that I’ve ever seen. I’m really glad that I got a chance to see it. I’m a little ashamed that I haven’t gone to any other of their presentations. So despite arriving home after 11pm, it was a very worthwhile evening & I’ll make a point to try to go more often.

The Angolan Field Group have their own blog at:

Friday was the usual hectic day with yearbook club & then packing to get ready to go camping in Kissama for my birthday weekend.


Anonymous said...

Hi, i am student from czech republic and i try to write publication about Angola. Can you help me sometimes ?

My email is

or we can speak by messanger (ICQ, Skype)

Sue said...

Feel free to leave any questions here.

Anonymous said...


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Ces 24H seront émaillées de plateaux TV d'experts, de minidébats et de témoignages d'expatriés.

Dans le cas où nous passerions par la ville dans laquelle vous êtes expatrié, seriez-vous partants pour témoigner lors de cette émission ?

Si oui merci de nous en informer par email à l'adresse suivante : . Je vous demanderai de vous filmer avec votre webcam, téléphone portable, caméscope... en répondant aux questions que nous vous adresserons et qui porteront sur votre installation dans votre pays d'accueil, votre intégration, vos impressions, etc.

Pour nous envoyer chaque réponse en vidéo, il vous suffira de vous connecter à l'adresse suivante :

PS : Si vous n'êtes pas basée dans une des 24 villes, vous connaissez peut être un ou une expatriée pouvant témoigner.
N'hésitez pas à transférer ce message à autant de personnes susceptibles de pouvoir témoigner pour que les futurs candidats à l'expatriation puissent profiter de votre expérience d'expat.

Restant à votre disposition pour plus de détails

Bien Cordialement


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