A city of contradictions. Moves very fast yet can be slow on the side streets. Very dusty and congested but with modern super-slick malls. Tons of poverty yet extreme wealth too. Slums abound approaching the city from Bassam--miles and miles of slums on both sides of the frogger-like highway one of which runs parallel to the ocean. The slums are mazes of shacks and shops and one thing is for sure they are communities thriving with life.
We walked through one of them in Abidjan. Dusty, exhaust-filled, crowded, yet exhilarating and full of life. The people, especially the kids, were friendly with an easy "Bonjour." I took video and pics and they all wanted to be part of the action. The kids went nuts. I took several pics of them. Here are two--the first pic is of three very, very friendly kids and the second adds another little guy (probably their brother) who wanted in the pic bad as you can see on the side of the first pic. (I pulled him in for the second pic.) Of course, I showed them and they loved it. Notice how the three older kids are smiling and seem to be having fun and the little guy is taking the pic like it's the first day of boarding school or something. He's a bro, for sure.
My friend Oozman, a Senegalese guy, came with me to Abidjan and showed me around as he knows Abidjan very well and could help a lot with the language/s. While we were walking I went to the bathroom--a man on the street generously let me use his off the side of the street--and as I walked to the outhouse in a cramped building I saw Oozman fill a tea pot with water and at first I thought it was for me to wash with but then I realized he was going to get in a quick prayer. Good for him--I should pray more often although I do find myself giving a lot of thanks these days. Later, I saw some other spots on the street with a large rectangular carpet and lots of small tea pots for Muslims to wash and pray. It was cool to see how prayer gets integrated with daily life.
John Doces. Je vous écris de la Côte-d'Ivoire en Afrique.