Africa is not always beautiful and colorful…

Africa is not always beautiful and colorful…

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Ivory Coast - sounds like fun, truth? Evokes the wild beaches, palm, drinks with an umbrella, dense forests and of course elephants. Sounds. Sounds.

In colonial times, Cote d'Ivoire (franc.) It was the pride and joy of the French. Kawa, cocoa, ananasy, Palm oil, rubber - almost 40% of total exports from West Africa came precisely from this country. Thanks to the rich resources and close relationship with France for many years after independence Coast was the local economic tiger, a world leader in the production of cocoa and one of the leaders in the export of pineapples. The impressive pace built roads and electrical grids, and illiteracy in society halved. In Europe, it spoke of "the African economic miracle", and Cote d'Ivoire were placed as a model of stable, safe country pokolonialnego. Meanwhile 2002 for nearly a decade the country has divided bloody civil war. Although the last few years has been here a relatively calm about the former glory Ivorańczycy have to forget.

We drove to the country without any major problems. True Gentlemen policemen on the border did not fail to stand up for petit souvenir , but after our polite, but firm refusal gave our passports. Over time, we began to call them kids, because each police ( stop us on average once a day) They ask for pennies, or at least cookies, candy or chewing gum, and after refusing resented as children and the nadąsanymi mines they discontinue guns and pushes spiky barbed wire, we could ride. Through these continuous requests for hard candy treat them seriously, but on the other hand, the creeps when we see how mercilessly they treat the locals. Most drivers do not even discuss, Only resignation out of the car (because the lazy do not even get up from the station, wywalonymi sit with legs and sip a Coke or alcohol) Without a word, handing them the bill. Only then will "soldier"- still with legs wywalonymi – He pulls on the string attached to the spiky beams on wheels (such a great invention, to not have too much overlap), whistles whistle and the driver may drive. Looking at these greedy, lazy and often drunken kids with guns is not difficult for us to imagine the horrors of the recent war. How to add to the ubiquitous UN, Information about banning entry of weapons to shops, hotels or restaurants, powywieszane in cities posters showing victims of war, houses for a three-meter wall and barbed fence, or businessmen in the company of bodyguards is difficult to feel at ease here and sometimes people stop looking at the question in your mind: victim or torturer?

However, the farther from the rebel midnight, the country appears to be calmer, and we with him. We drive south towards Abidjan, because the moment we have enough green tunnel and need to stare blankly at the blue of the ocean. Just before the border gwinejsko-iworańska stuknęło us 5 000 kilometers so on this occasion szarpnęliśmy on small portrecik :)

 

Before interpretation thereof on the beach we have to overcome yet another 500 kilometers through the jungle. Fortunately, slowly we begin to learn there exist, and even enjoy its benefits.

 

coconuts, ananasy, an avocado, oranges, bananas, mango, papaya, grapefruit, and all for pennies and available at any wioseczce, often already peeled, sliced ​​and ready to eat. By the rivers of grilled fish ..., smoked, fried, boiled - apparently - alive, as who wants to. To this paste with avocado, grilled sweet potatoes, fried bananas or simply rice. Mniaaaaaaaaaam!!! We develop our culinary skills inventing different makaronowo-fruit and fish dishes, and indulge in the all time, because some of us point out, that look like commas ;)

 

Of course, the forest is not only fruits and tubers or roots of plants. Just as in neighboring countries it hunts here on everything that moves. The result is an almost total lack of game. famous elephants (of which took the name of the country) I was almost knocked out, some chimpanzees hiding in a small national parks (closed for tourists, I still reside in them rebels), and any other general cargo is to see at most in a pot or in the local market, sold to various animistic rites and for use in traditional medicine.

 

For a month, which we are already on the Coast had the opportunity to see the battleship in the bag after ryżu- young guys caught him in the forest and wanted to sell us a 40 zł - and forest rat who through incompetence language went on our plates ... Fortunately it tasted like pork knuckle with a young pig.

Unfortunately, traveling through the Ivory Coast can not fail to notice, that the life-giving forests are disappearing at an unimaginable pace. For the first time we noticed this problem even in Guinea, Only there was a completely different scale. Women wycinały forests with machetes, to cook them dinner. Chopped logs on site, tied with a piece of cloth to throw over his head and carried to the village. Actually, in Guinea there is no other fuel, So he takes a tree even to cities. Typical Guinean image is a fire burning in front of every house, on the street and with them a woman boiling rice in a large, iron garach, At around men and children benefit from a bit of light offered by the glowing logs.

 

Guinean forest mass are also "spontaneously" - according to the official version - and their ashes created new villages and farmlands.

 

However, the Coast on this issue infamous beating records. In the past 50 years the country lost 1/3 their forests. Years of greatest development is also the greatest years of destruction. In years 70 i 80 Coast exported more trees than Brazil, country almost 20 times larger! Today, statistics show, that the country loses about 3000 km2 of forest per year. The basic reason is of course illegal timber exports, mainly for furniture and parquet flooring to Europe, but also the mass segment of the cocoa plantations, rubber and palm groves.

 

We often stay on them for the night, because there are fewer insects than in the forest. These large, generally belong to the Germans, English, French, who from time to time out of their villa – fortress Abijah and import air-conditioned terenówkach by their black drivers control estate. I was a little surprised to see us, but generally they do not have anything against our bizarre encampment. At each of these plantations is campment they live in working on a plantation family. Rarely there we look, because they are not pleasant places. Most often there is no infrastructure, including of course the toilets. In other villages physiological needs processed in the woods, but with campmentach no forest, plantation is festooned with plaques with the prohibition of defecation and information about a fine and the threat of job losses. Behind the toilet is used so the edge of the road just in front of or behind the village, side of the road where we ride ... But in each, even the smallest little town where there is no water, current, whether the store is maquis where you can buy alcohol sold in portions too 60 cents. Sometimes early in the morning when looking for something for breakfast we look for these bars, I usually serve there too omelette with bread and tea, and there for the whole event and the young men, who did not catch up to work on plantations, drown sorrows in cheap wine palm and seek solace in the arms of poubieranych in blond wigs girls (wig with a "European" haircut here is the rage).

However, most of the plantations in the country belongs to minor, local owners. Usually they work on their families, including children. Apparently there is nothing surprising in this, also with us at harvest time in the field working all household members. Only here the season for example.: cocoa harvest is almost all year round and children are not sent to school because they too need to work. On the plantations of this world leader in the production of cocoa has been working 200 do 800 thousand. toddlers (Various reports indicate differently, since the exact number is, of course, difficult to calculate). Worse still several thousand of them are forced into slave labor. The most common were exported from neighboring countries, sold for use by their families or working off an unspecified debts of parents. Every morning we pass clusters of eleven / twelve year, equipped with machetes or equipment for spraying pesticides go to work. Dressed in rags, without water or food for 12 hours will wyłuskiwać seeds for example.: Nestle.

Little that we posmęcili, but Africa is not always beautiful, colorful and cheerful and not talking about it, unfortunately, this does not change ...