Thursday, 8 October 2009

President Bongo I presume ?

Auchmithie Church

I got confirmation yesterday of my new Vessel assignment. Its a Boat which is considerably shinier, and newer than the one I have just left, which come to think of it, is probably already on its way to a remote Indian beach somewhere to be turned into some of Mr Gillette's products......and about time to.
Anyway, the first job is in Gabon. Its been some 5 or 6 years since I had the dubious pleasure of working in the various countries in this Region of the World, and obviously a lot has changed, or in Gabon's situation, actually not a lot, by the looks of things.
Its a country with a population of some 1.4 million people, 99.9% of whom still live in abject poverty, yet were governed by one of Africa's richest men.....the delightfully named Pres Omar Bongo. Now I say were governed, as earlier this year the aforementioned 70 year old Bongo decided to eventually croak ( Money certainly buys you longevity in Africa these days, compared to the rest of the General population ! ), and totter off to the great rich mans play ground in the sky.
So an opportunity therefore arose to allow the 1.4 million Gabonese to have a say, and vote freely for a new start. However, aided and abetted by the Cheese eating Surrender Monkeys, led by the Midget Sarko, the election result was ...... how can i delicately put this........Rigged.
The upshot of all of this being, that the 4th largest Oil producing Nation in Africa elected a new President, whose name strangely, had a familiar ring to it.....Yup, you've guessed already Dear Reader..... From the ashes, lets all give a big hand to..... President Bongo.

This time though, Its a Bongo with an equally ridiculous first name of Ali, which esentially makes him sound, and no doubt look like, a 2nd rate Magician, but a magician who has pulled off the trick of a lifetime, and now gets to follow in his fathers Footsteps, and continue to rape and pillage the Country he has been sworn in to serve, just like good old Pa.
To be honest, it makes you puke.

Anyway, as Money obviously talks in these situations, and Oil and French support being the root of Ali Bongo's riches, we are now doing a 2 month job down there, quite close to the capital city of Libreville, which incidentally used to be quite beautiful in places a few years back.
So although its a new Boat, and a new start for me, its really Groundhog day ( I guess a little like how the Gabonese feel), with another Country, with yet another Corrupt Government based on Oil to deal with..... Don'cha just luv it....Don'cha ?

A fancy face in some Fancy stonework on one of the Local Houses.


PS. The pics are from a rather grey and overcast day when we did the coastal walk from Arbroath to Auchmithie, where the original Smokie came from, for those of you who are even in the slightest bit interested.

PPS. Another Dentist appointment next Wednesday.....She is pushing her luck, as I WILL be certifiably insane by then .......


  1. Loving the outline of the coast in picture three.

    Ali Bongo indeed! You wouldn't believe it could be true nowadays - but it sure sounds like bribery and stupidity are close running mates on this one. Just wrong!

    When do you set off P ?

  2. Hi F and S, I'll be leaving somewhere around the 24th of this month. I'm just getting Letters of Invitation (as if I'd even want to go !), and some large Security Guys sorted to meet me when I arrive.

  3. So this really is 'Bongo Bongo land?'
    How European meddling has aided the African people!
    Stay safe! Mind you, Arbroath's a bit wild also when I think about it.'

  4. I love that church photo! Are the windows all boarded up?

    I recognise those cliffs from Neil's blog but I believe he drove to Auchmithie...

    Good luck at the dentist!

  5. Hi P. I wish you the best of luck in bongo land. I love the little church, the red sandstone is stunning and the cliff walk looks inviting.

  6. Hmmm, I was getting a bit confused thinking the photos had been taken in Gabon - skycolour is a bit off! Good luck with your new adventures, sounds like there will plenty to blog about!

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