Since The Republic of Guinea turned the big 4 yesterday, I decided to celebrate their National Holiday by thinking on all the things I love about this place!
* They call robbers, "bandits". I don't know why I think that is so cool. Somehow it makes me feel better when my guard tells me the gunshots outside my house are "bandits" and not just plain old criminals.
* Watching women walk with heavy loads balanced on their heads and a cel phone up to their ear. It's the meeting of the worlds.
* Everything is a community event. Very commonly it is hair braiding. The women sit outside for hours patiently weaving braids into each other's hair.
which brings me to the next thing I love...
* Guineans are pretty darn patient! I've never seen them get irritated because they've been kept waiting. They think Americans are always in a rush and find it terribly rude that we jump into business talk...or any talk before going through the whole rigmarole of asking how they are, how their family is and how their children are doing. (Why do we rush that part, anyway? Isn't that stuff way more important than anything else we have to talk about?)
* During heavy rain, there are entrepreneurial little boys who go to the flooded parts of the road and direct you around the pot holes. They do it whether you pay them or not...but they're in it for the dough. I am thrilled to reward those clever little chaps!
* I don't particularly like birds. But if I did, I'd love to be a birdwatcher here. They have the most bizarre, wildly colored and interesting birds I've ever seen anywhere.
* There are some crazy wonderful trees. Trees that make it feel like you're in Narnia: Huge and twisted and magnificent.
* They call bragging, "bluffing". Of course it is...
* Hands down- favorite thing = Babies on backs