Sunday, May 23, 2010

Alternate Route

I used to always take Plant Road to work, but lately I've been favoring le Rue Alpha Blondy.
Here is the route on a nice day. This is a suburban neighborhood. I pass a church, schools, and businesses such as this drop-off laundry mat.

It wasn't terribly busy this particular morning. Sometimes the line is loaded down with stuff. As you can see, it's all done by hand.

And this maquis. You can get fish, chicken, and bush rat. Call for reservations! They handle marriages, anniversaries, and baptism parties!

One day there was a huge traffic jam. I had never seen anything like it. As you can see, we have three lanes going down the hill. Technically, there is only one lane. It all choked up at the intersection of Rue Alpha Blondy.

Plus you have cars and baccas (small commuter buses) turning on to the road.

From both sides! Honestly, it is not usually this bad. I think there was a big accident on Plant Road this day, so there were three times the amount of cars on Rue Alpha Blondie.

These two guys came out into the intersection and started directing traffic. I tipped them 1000 CFA (Currently about $2).

Rue Alpha Blondy is named for his house which is quite grand. The first time I saw it I thought it was a mosque. Rue Alpha Blondy has been getting worse and worse since I've come to Abidjan. I've been through one rainy season and am currently in the middle of another. The road is deteriorating.

This is Alpha Blondy. I think he should spend some of his money to repair the road. Yes, sure, the government should be doing that, but they aren't going to. He should show a little noblesse oblige and/or community good will.

Just this past week there were some massive rain storms. The pot holes at the Rue Alpha Blondy have become one giant pot hole.

When I drove through this on Friday it was a huge puddle. When I drove through today (Sunday) I could see just how bad the pot hole is. It stretches across the whole road, and is up to a foot deep in places. Sigh. I might have to go back to Plant Road if just for the sake of my tires.


Yellow Flower said...

Hi there!

I just found your blog. I am heading to the June Specialist Class as an OMS. I am really excited about this new adventure. I have enjoyed reading through your blog - Looks like you are making the best of your tour. :-)

I have linked you to my blog.


Vince said...

Hi there,

I’m writing from the team that manages INTERNational Connections, a State Department career networking site for Department interns and employees. We’d love to feature some content from your blog on as it provides some valuable insight into the steps towards joining the State Department and life as a Department employee. If you’re interested in letting use some of your posts, please contact us at ASAP for more information. Thanks!

Roger Kent said...

Dear Wonderful FS Person doing a Thankless Job!

Greetings. I am a Training and Development profession living in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California.

I am responding to two RFP’s for the Foreign Service Institute for “experiential learning” (ropes courses etc.) in Leadership and Team Building. I can give you the two proposal numbers, one for civil service FS folks and the other for FS Officers, if you wish to verify.

I was wondering if you have a moment to answer two questions:

Q1: What are the particular challenges of leadership and/or teambuilding that you find in a Foreign Service posting?

Q2: If there were one thing you would like FS Staff to know before a posting overseas about the interpersonal/leadership challenges of this assignment what would it be?

One proposal is due Friday 7/30 and the other Wednesday 8/13. I would not mention your comment by name in developing my proposal only by continent: “…from a Foreign Service officer currently serving in Africa”

I am happy to Skype you at your convenience if you don’t feel like putting finger to keyboard.

Thank you.

Roger Kent
Nevada City, CA

I know not how to aid you, save in the assurance of one of mature age, and much severe experience, that you can not fail, if you resolutely determine, that you will not.
-- A. Lincoln July 22, 1860 Letter to George Latham