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Photos from Abidjan in August

Outside of a trip to Bassam, I have been in Abidjan for most of August. The city — one of the more energetic and nocturnal places I’ve ever spent time in — has felt a bit deflated. Ramadan, cool August weather, a proliferation of police checkpoints and a series of somewhat mysterious night attacks on military facilities are perhaps a few of the reasons why.

But slowing Abidjan’s pulse is no easy task. A maquis without customers will still blast music that clips along at 140 beats per minute.

We worked hard in August. Our lunch delivery business took a big leap forward. We also enjoyed ourselves. Palm wine in the shade, late night dancing, poisson braisé. Here are the photos.

We buy A LOT of alloco from this lady. I’m convinced young children intentionally play near her stand because they enjoy her explosive reactions when they do so.

Poisson braisé

Faty, 2nd from back right, was my first friend (and couchsurfing host) in Cote d’Ivoire. We met in 2010. Still friends, now business partners, too. In this photo, 3 generations of her family (dad’s side). Grandma is 92. Can you spot the clothing item that is out of place here?

We celebrated Eid at Faty’s grandmother’s. And by celebrate I mean we ate for 5 continuous hours.

Kids smoking fish in the Kuwait neighborhood of Yopougon.

Sewage and trash in Kuwait.

Kuwait is a relatively poor neighborhood — and it looks that way when you walk through it — but if you enter someone’s home you see a different picture. This photo is from our friend Jeremy’s house. He is a taxi driver, bandaged because he was recently in an accident. He lives here with his sweet wife and daughter.

We run at this concrete track every other night.


Drinking (and eating) at the maquis

Dancing at the maquis

The day after

This is not Abidjan. It is a photo of a photo of Didier’s (one of our delivery guys) dad in western Cote d’Ivoire. The photo is from the early 90’s. He is holding huge white mushrooms.

On the way: more updates on the food biz, music stuff, the voyage back to Bamako, and my biggest camel drawing project to date.

This post was made possible by flights24.com who can help you get a cheap flight to Abidjan, or anywhere for that matter.

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{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Gina August 31, 2012, 2:11 pm

    Great photos. Really gave me a feel for Abidjan (which I’d never heard of before). Also, that fish with the onions on top looks amaaazing.

    • phil September 4, 2012, 11:03 am

      Glad you enjoyed, Gina.

  • Ekua September 2, 2012, 4:24 pm

    You’re probably right about the kids playing near that woman 😛 These photos are great insight into Abidjan and I especially love the photo with the matriarch and her family.

    I can’t believe that waterfall of trash. Seeing piles of trash in the “developing” nations that do not have systems in place to manage it always makes me think twice about what it means to “develop”.

    • phil September 4, 2012, 11:32 am

      I have the same thoughts. A lot of people look at development in terms of numbers. They look at GDP or average income, but they often neglect infrastructure and in many cases, governance, too. Very problematic.

  • Ayngelina September 14, 2012, 11:24 am

    The photos are such a mix of joy and sorrow. The smiling faces are so great but I can`t help but think about the garbage.

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