Monday, August 12, 2019

Learning about Equatorial Guinea

During the second half of July, our family learned about the little country of Equatorial Guinea, a Spanish-speaking country on the western coast of Africa which is sort-of on the equator. I say "sort of" because its land mass on the African continent and islands don't actually have the equator running through any of them, but it does possess islands on both the north and the south sides of the equator. The current capital, Malabo, is on one of those islands, but they are using much of their oil revenue to build a new capital city on the African continent that looks like it will have a much better infrastructure and allow for many people to live a good middle class existence there eventually.

Right now, there are slums where most of the Equatoguineans live and then some nice places for the few rich elites who run the country. But it looks like they're trying to create a more equal future for their society. The schools function, and they have a literacy rate of 95% (I'm sure the regular spelling of the Spanish language has helped them reach such a high rate). The new capital city, while definitely a work in progress right now, looks like one the whole country will be proud of. It's nice to see people use the money from their natural resources to work towards a good future for an entire country.

We ate a lot of West African cooking. Fufus made of cassava, plantains, and cocoyams; corn mush; fish stew; goat meat; many dishes with boiled peanuts and peanut butter; papaya; spinach and other greens; red palm oil; and snails. Yes, we ate snails for dinner one night. The snails were canned and sitting right in the "canned meat" section at Walmart. How could I resist? Any meat tastes good with garlicky butter and parsley on it! I teased the children that we would also do the North American version of "bushmeat" and hunt the squirrels and bunny rabbits in our neighborhood, but they knew I wasn't serious.

We didn't find much in the way of music or movies/shows from Equatorial Guinea, but I did discover a great aunt/niece singing duo called Hijas del Sol; they come from Equatorial Guinea, although they had to move to Spain. This is my favorite song by them:

No comments:

Post a Comment