Djiboutiville

Here are some initial observations on Djibouti.  It’s HOT!!!!  I stepped off of the plane, into 90 degree heat!  And that was at 7am!!!!  I was prepared for heat, but what I wasn’t prepared for was humidity…… and, man, is it ever humid too!!  They haven’t invented the hair product that tames my frizz in this type of weather!

Anyway, I’m finding it to be an interesting place.  Many people here raise goats, and not just outside of the city.  It’s interesting to be driving down the street only to have to slow down to wait for a goat to trot over to the curb!  Apparently, people don’t bother to fence in their goats or other livestock, they just let them wander around, and bring them back in at night.  One advantage though: they eat ANYTHING so they help to clean up stray litter they find.  And the benefit to the owners is that if the goats go around eating trash, they don’t have to worry about feeding them!  Downtown Djiboutiville (the capital of Djibouti) is quite small, at least from what I’ve seen so far, and traffic rules seem to be created on the fly.  The goats add an interesting dimension to the challenges for drivers here.  I’ve had a chance to go outside of the city as well, and when you get far enough out there, to where the clay ground gives way to what I would call desert, you also have to contend with camels and donkeys just wandering about as well.  Thankfully, all seem to know to get out of the way of the cars.  One notable fact: not only are camels raised for export here, cattle are as well, and when a cow is being transported and dies along the way, they just chuck the carcass out of the truck in the middle of the desert and let the hyenas and cheetahs (and, no, I haven’t seen any of those yet, though I’m told they’re out there) have them!  If someone just ditched a dead cow a bit removed from the road back home, I’m not sure how well that would be received!!

When I return from traveling around town and the surrounding area, where I’m staying has a gorgeous pool, that I’ve been able to take advantage of after work in the evenings before settling in to go to bed.  It’s amazing how much less noticeable the humidity is when you are totally wet! 🙂  So far, it’s been an interesting and enjoyable experience.  Sorry I don’t have more pictures to post, but I am here for work, so I haven’t had a chance to tour around to take pictures other than at my hotel…..

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2 responses to “Djiboutiville

  1. sounds fasinating, keep posting! How is the work? Just as fascinating no doubt. Sorry i wasn’t in touch before you left, or for ages for that matter. Since i started work again in Feb it has been a huge challenge juggling things, and for a few months there it was hell and i was wondering if it was all worth it (trying to keep work up whilst being mum to 2 year old). Calmer now and have had some wins under my belt (acting for asylum seekers on appeal) so life more manageable. So cool that you are in Africa – am v jealous as i love it there – well what i have seen of it, Sth Africa and Namibia. How long are you there for?
    Good luck and enjoy that swimming pool!
    inga x

    • Thanks! The work is very interesting, but I’m not comfortable going into detail about it publicly. We’ll save that for a private conversation! How long I’m there is a little unclear at this point. This was just an initial one-week trip to start getting things sorted out for the longer period when I get out there in October. The plan right now is for me to go for 6 months, but I’m not sure if we’re going to stay with that plan or re-evaluate based on what seems like it will be the best approach to the problem in order to have the best chance to effect change. After this initial week, I have many things I have to discuss with my higher-ups so hopefully we’ll get that all figured out soon enough! I’ll keep you posted though!

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