SPICY TESTIMONY OF AN AMERICAN EXPAT
"Angola can be plenty interesting or boring beyond belief,
depending on how you take it. Where I worked (Cabinda) all the expats live
in a guarded compound with mine fields and the whole bit surrounding it.
Virtually no one is allowed to leave the camp. They've built it up
so it's like a little piece of Texas dropped onto the west coast of Africa
(originally built by Gulf Oil out of Houston). Golf course. White sand
beach, all that fun stuff. But you're there 28 days and can't do anything
but work. 12 hours a day 6 days a week and 6 hours on Sunday. Can really
be a grind.
There's another approach. I managed to wheedle an arrangement where
I got one of the extremely rare passes to leave the camp. I learned Portuguese,
got myself an Angolan driver's license, and used to occasionally spend
lunches during the week in the villages and every Sunday spent the day
cruising around visiting villages, seeing the sights, etc. Out of about
600 expats living in the camp, maybe 5 got to do that.
I worked about 40 miles from the mouth of the Congo River. Spent time
in some of the jungles areas with locals. Drank "manjevo", palm wine that
will make you sick in seconds. Great stuff. They take the sap from the
palm tree and it begins to ferment in hours. Within a couple of days it's
about 100 proof. After a week you could drive your car with it. After about
10 days it becomes dangerous so they throw it out.
The women are nice. The mestiza (half African, half Portuguese) are
knock-outs. Think Whitney Houston with a D-cup topless on the beach".
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