Before I start day 9, I'd like to add a final word about day 8. You may have noticed that I mentioned yesterday that we were "supposed" to be leaving. After the renaming ceremony Rashida took us out for a little tour of downtown Bissau - the capital. We got a chance to see what we think was an old slave processing center in Guinea Bissau. It is now being remodeled and will serve as the Office of Human Rights.
Anyway, on the way back to Casa E we learned that our flight had been cancelled (for no reason - just cancelled). We would spend another night in Guinea Bissau.
As you can imagine this was quite alarming as we were all packed and ready to go, we had said our tearful good byes and had already paid a pretty penny for reservations back at the beautiful Radisson in Senegal (plus by now I was longing for some relaxation, a big comfy bed, some exotic cuisine and a proper SHOWER!)
We were having a little lunch at Casa E and Isabel Mora joined us. Isabel is an extraordinary, multifaceted woman. She is the founder and director of Casa Emanuel and also a dentist. Isabel speaks very little English so Maritza served as our translator. Isabel told us the story of how she was guided by God to Guinea Bissau to start the orphanage (she even worked with lepers). It is an amazing story. RTP Television (Portuguese Tv) made a movie of her journey, called something like, "A Love Story in the Time of War". I have permission to access it but so far cannot locate it. You will love hearing her story. and....Now we understood why we had been delayed. I will post the story here when I find it. (If anyone has the hook up and can help me locate it please let me know).
In the meantime, since I don't have any of this on video, please take a look at this one of Casa E from 2007. Du doesn't have his beautiful murals on the walls yet, I don't see Maritza and lots of updating has been done since this was shot, but you will get a chance to see some of Guinea Bissau and understand the life the people live there "as the travelers saw". I'm also pretty sure the majority of the children in the video are still there today.
On Day 9: Leaving the excitement of this special journey and many new friends behind, we were finally able to depart Guinea Bissau (I think the flight was cancelled because they didn't have enough people to fill the 50 seats on that turbo prop).
We landed safely back at that awful airport in Dakar! Nuff said. YUCK!
We checked into our beautiful ocean view rooms, retrieved our luggage we had left at the hotel (which contained our CLEAN clothes and personal effects -- boy was I happy to see these things). We invited our Senegalese hosts to join us for a nice dinner in the restaurant (they had been expecting us yesterday). After a delicious meal and some fine wine with our new friends, we turned in for a good night's rest. Dozing to the sounds of a melodic jazz band outside on the deck. What a life!
Come back tomorrow for our last day in Africa and a trip to the "Pink Lake"