Saturday, February 27, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola (Portuguese: República de Angola, pronounced [ʁɛˈpublikɐ dɨ ɐ̃ˈɡɔlɐ]; Kongo: Repubilika ya Ngola), is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean. The exclave province of Cabinda has a border with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Angola was a Portuguese overseas territory from the 16th century to 1975. After independence, Angola was the scene of an intense civil war from 1975 to 2002. The country is the second-largest petroleum and diamond producer in sub-Saharan Africa; however, its life expectancy and infant mortality rates are both among the worst ranked in the world. In August 2006, a peace treaty was signed with a faction of the FLEC, a separatist guerrilla group from the Cabinda exclave in the North, which is still active. About 65% of Angola's oil comes from that region.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
- I checked in and went to wait at the gate
- I saw that the plane was delayed due to scheduled maintenance
- The agent kept telling is to stay near to the gate in case the plane was finished early
- That never happened and she finally told us (after an hour of waiting) that the fligh was cancelled
- I booked it over to customer service where I was told I needed to go to the check in counter (where I had arrived hours earlier) but must first grab my bags from baggage claim. They wouldn't reroute me without the bags
- I got to customer service, but not the international desk. The woman told me I would need to move and I think my tired eyes made her change her mind and she decided to help me where I was. Everyone else on the cancelled fight had to walk down to another check in desk 150m away.
- I waited about an hour and 15 minutes to get checked into my new flight, mostly because I had been charged for an extra bag as well as for some extra lbs in one bag, but that charge had to be cancelled and recharged using the new airline's regulations. I didn't care how long I had to wait, though. I saved 200 USD! And I talked to the ladies helping me about what exactly this LAD (Luanda) airport was. Not many people had heard of Angola before. Go figure!
- After a long flight from Charlotte to Frankfurt I went through security with a small bag carrying all of my camera equipment, ipod, speakers, external hard drives, computer, etc. The security lady was annoyed that she had to go through my stuff so in the end she just warned me that my bag might be too heavy and sent me away. I ignored her, packed up my stuff, and headed to the gate for the flight to Lisbon.
- Gate changed many times for Lisbon and I walked all over that airport trying to find out where exactly it was leaving from.
- As I walked to find my gate in the friggin huge airport in Frankfurt I asked a helper guy and come to find out he was from Guinea Bissau so he spoke to me in Portuguese. He was a nice old guy. I don't think he had spoken Portuguese in a while
- I did get to pick up some FREE newspapers in German to be used in my presentations once I got to Luanda
- Boarded the flight to Lisbon and slept the whole way
- In Lisbon I had to get my ticket to Luanda and I think I was the nicest person in the long line. Lots of flights had been late or canceled
- I must have walked for a good 25 minutes to the last gate at the Lisbon airport. I got there just in time to wait 5 hours for the flight.
- I caught up on Survivor episodes I hadn't seen and munched on Combos and Reese's Peanut Butter cups I bought back in Charlotte
- Boarded the plane and nearly slept the whole way. I don't even think I got to eat a meal.