samedi, avril 02, 2005

The Guinean Life

I really want to describe what it's like living here in Guinea, but I'm becoming too accostom to it. I'm having a difficult time remembering things that are not exactly normal by our american standards, but I got some suggestions from other PCVs.

Trip to the Bank

American:
In and out usually 5-10 minutes. Occasional long waits on Pay Day...by long I mean a half hour

Guinean:
Massive globs of people. No real lines persay. Our trip took 3 hours

American:
Banking is very private and confindential. You have at least 5 feet of personal space.

Guinean:
What's personal space?!? We created a 5 person human barrior to keep people away as anyone can easily read the computer containing your information (also helped in keeping a first come firt served policy that is not widely recognized here).

Trip to the Market

American:
Make a list of what you need and go bye it without any hassle

Guinean:
Walk past street venders seeling numerous items in search for what you need. All the while you are fighting mobs of people wanting you to buy their items.
1.Find what you need
2. Bargain price which takes loads of patience
3. Price still too high
4. Move on to another vender
5. Repeat steps 1-4 several times until you realize the first guy gave you the best price
6. Humbly return

Transportation:

Today we went to get a taxi downtown. We were told the price was about 6,000-7,000 FG, but the driver tries to make us pay 28,000 FG After long discussions we finally decide on 15,000FG (because of increased gas prices) On the way back we paid 6,000 without even bargaining. No I'm not bitter

What's my biggest frustration?? I'd have to say it's the men. Fisrt of all men have a different view of a woman's place in the world. The women are carring the majority of the work load, yet they are treated only slightly better than children. Women need to be Disciplined by their husbands. I've already know several women who have been beaten since I've arrived here. I remember one night I went outside for fresh air and heard blood curdling screams coming from the next village. What can you do? Not much you can talk all you want but you might as well be talking to a brick wall. Behavior like this is just accepted as a part of life and rarely questioned. You can however talk to the youth and they are more willing to think outside the box. Maybe one day attitudes will change, but not anytime soon.

2 Comments:

At 3 avril 2005 23:52, Blogger Judy/Bill/Family said...

It is amazing to hear of the Guinean life...yet familiar in some aspects of what you know to exsist. What is more amazing it to see the maturity in one you watched grow up. What a young woman you have become and quite the reporter! Keep the updates coming it is fantastic seeing the world through your eyes! Our love from just through the gate!

 
At 17 août 2005 19:08, Blogger Moussa said...

Look like a lot to Senegal, except the women beating stuffs.
When I went back to Senegal, 2 years ago, the banking wasnt that bad. You have your privacy and people did line up.
As for shopping, you cant beat senegalese merchants. Usually, you are given the price which is 5x higher of the normal price.
As a senegalese, i got duped several times. For a foreigner, you gotta be pretty good and patient to beat 'em.
Welcome to Senegal!

 

Enregistrer un commentaire

<< Home