An Equatorial Interlude


I managed, rather at the last minute, to get away from PH for a week’s relaxation before returning for the finish-line sprint. I decided that Ghana and Senegal (two common vacation destinations for my colleagues), though indubitably more culturally interesting and classically West-African, simply did not sound anywhere near as haven-like and utterly relaxing as the equatorial island nation of Sao Tome e Principe, two large islands and a few smaller ones clustered in the Gulf of Guinea. After all, if what I want is history of the slave trade and old slave forts – in which Ghana excels – I can get a taste in Calabar; if I want markets full of energy and excitement and people…well, we have those here in Port Harcourt. And so on.

All in all, for a change of pace, Sao Tome sounded like the place for me, and boy was I ever right. After my Calabar entry (scroll down a bit), Mom sent an email praising the beauty of my photos. Indeed, I did enjoy Calabar and it is lovely. However, before reaching Sao Tome I certainly hoped and expected it to be a great deal more lovely and green than Calabar. And, as these photos attest, I was far from disappointed. I spent a full week doing little more than relax, walk, read and do yoga in and around my small resort located on a little island off the southern tip of Sao Tome. I returned to PH brimming with good vibes and energy with which to finish my assignment here – which will come to an in May, after which it looks like I’ll be spending a good deal of time back in the US, helping Mom with some major projects around the house, before moving on to whatever comes next. This is likely my sign-off until I’m out of Nigeria – so enjoy the pics, keep in touch, and thanks for your support and interest during my time here. Do support MSF, and do pay attention to Nigeria: it’s a great country with many problems but fantastically wonderful people, and really rather important for stability and future prosperity in West Africa.



…above, the resort seen from the hill on which is located a marker for the equator (which you’ll see further down); below: said hill, seen from the pool. Someone said it’s the largest pool on the equator, or south of the equator, or something…but I think it’s actually a few steps north of the equator, though it’s quite possible the line goes right through the pool…





…it’s obviously a volcanic island, with a coastline riddled with black volcanic rock; this gives rise to at least three separate blowholes where the surf forces water and mist up through holes in the rock. Quite cool. And very dramatic-sounding as well.

…I’m smiling through the pain: I’m on the boat leaving the island. (Sigh. Sob.)

Above: a few shots of the Sao Tome coastline as seen from Ilheu Rolas.

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