Xmas in Gabon

It was very hard to leave Rob to come back to work in Africa, especially since he had the whole Xmas week off. I was able to spend the day with my Mum and Dad in London on the way over and seeing a few familiar faces at the airport in Paris made the trip to Gabon much less daunting than the first time I did it in October.

Xmas here is celebrated on Xmas Eve, as is the French way. Sodexho did an amazing job of decorating the restaurant and the food was as good as it looked. We had a seafood buffet including lobster, crab and shrimp as well as a choice of beef, turkey and local Gabonese dishes. The wine, champagne and port were flowing freely and a band had been flown in for the night. The festivities in the bar kicked off at around 8pm. I have never seen anything like it in my life. People were getting up on stage and joining in with the band, everyone had a boogey. I discovered that many of my work colleagues have hidden talents. Gary, our HSE guy has a well disguised passion for dirty dancing, our Fire Chief plays electric guitar, our teaboy is another Michael Jackson in the making and many people seemed to be really good at falling over and slurring….There were a few sore heads next day, but we were allowed to finish whatever we were doing whilst pretending to work at midday on Xmas Day and sloped off to our rooms before doing it all over again the next night.

On Xmas Day I did my 12km long run, although I dropped my running partner who went a bit green after the first couple of km (complaining of one too many ports the night before) and then sat and had an entirely indulgent day of knitting, watching movies and tending to my blistered feet. People from home gave me a whole host of lovely presents to open whilst I was here. I am now the proud owner of Garmin GPS which tracks distance, time, pace and a whole host of other things (if only I could work out what exactly). It is really useful out here to track my running distances since I have no maps to go from. I am a bit limited as to how much I can use it out here on this particular trip since I melted the transformer in the recharging unit by plugging it into our 240V system. I am learning to be more technically savvy, sometimes the hard way…

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