Finals thoughts: Equatorial Guinea here I come!

Hey Everyone!!!

Less than 48 hours until I’m on a plane to Equatorial Guinea, and I am definitely getting nervous (in a good way) in anticipation of the unknown. I’m a little miffed that I have to be at the airport at 4:30am for a timely security check…but it’s all in the name of good travel!

Last night I used google maps to look up pictures of the various areas I should be going; they didn’t really do anything to satisfy my curiosity. My image of the country is completely based on what I’ve been able to piece together from my Lonely Planet travel guide, an informative history novel, and online forums. For the first time in my life, I actually feel like I am truly traveling into the unknown. Having lived and traveled around Europe, there is not much that surprises me here. It’s not that Western Europe is boring – far from it – it’s that I can usually get along very well knowing English and German. Many locals come equipped with a Hilton, McDonalds, and Woolworths (or some similar alternative). Accommodation, a greasy burger, and cheap, synthetic wool tights are sometimes an adventure to find, but are nevertheless available. Perhaps my perception of Equatorial Guinea is completely off, but as far as I can tell, it will be the most different country/culture/place I will ever have visited up to this point.

For those of you who totally clueless as to where Equatorial Guinea is (and what I’m doing there), take a look at the google map: the cute little pointers/bubble-thingies indicate what city I will fly into and where (I believe) my “home base” is, when I work for an American researcher to complete a census of the island’s jungle/terrain. The job is organized through the BBPP, approximately 3 months long and will involve camping, trekking, and a fair amount of monkeys, turtles, and awesomeness. Internet access will be limited, but I plan on writing about my travels as I go and uploading them onto the blog when I can. If you want more information about the BBPP, and doing paid volunteerism with them, you can check out their website: www.bioko.org. For a really, really neat report on Equatorial Guinea and the BBPP, read the national geographic article or watch a short video, also put together by the National Geographic!

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Finally, I want to say “thanks and cheers” to all of the people in Erfelden, Germany who kept me well fed, warm, and busy during my lovely twelve-day stay there. It was WONDERFUL to see/meet all of you! Special thanks to Mona for giving me music for my ipod; my ears are very thankful.

Alrighty – time to go grab some lunch/dinner. Spoiling myself by staying at a five-star hotel in Frankfurt for the last night of my stay…but am not too excited about the burger and steak dinner offerings.

Only a few days until I touch down on my third continent!!!