So here I am in Malabo – a place until recently I had never heard of, and therefore, a place I had never contemplated that I would actually be.
The idea behind this blog is to provide a sense of the place which is to (theoretically) be my home for the next 12 months. It is to put forward my perspective on life here in the “compound” and to hopefully allow others to learn a little about Malabo and dispel preconceived ideas about what it is like (if indeed any such preconceived ideas exist!).
I came here craving adventure, the experience of and exposure to a different way of life. So when the husband was offered the job of working in Malabo, the decision although difficult, was made relatively quickly. As said many, many times to many, many people these past few months – these kinds of opportunities don’t come up that often!
I gave up my job as a lawyer and arrived in town yesterday evening. The process of getting through immigration was interesting to say the least but nevertheless here I am! I have spent today wandering around the “compound,” soaking in the humidity and the mist which appears to be all around us, and ducking into our apartment for a reprieve under the dual air-cons from time to time. It is quiet; the peacefulness of the place is striking. So far today, other than the husband, the main interaction I have had with others is a brief “hola” to the locals who work here. I need to work on my Spanish!
At first instance, I would admit that the “compound” is kind of like living in a protected bubble. I have included a picture of our apartment below, which I would assume (although I am yet to see for myself) is far different from the traditional housing n which the locals live. The “compound” is the area within the security fence which is operated by the company for which the husband now works. The security fence is not required due to significant safety concerns, but rather, confines the workers and their wives, to a designated area. Presently, I have no real means of leaving the compound. I do not have a car, although there are cars available for the workers, and one must obtain a local driving license before the company will allow one to drive into Malabo town itself.
In essence, the “compound” may be compared to a resort, where apartments and holiday homes exist comfortably among the palm trees and in view of the turquoise swimming pool and numerous tennis courts.
It is definitely surreal.