The past week has been a little bit crazy here in Malabo. Equatorial Guinea hosted the African Union Summit in Sipopo from June 20-27th. The USA sent a small delegation of people to observe and hold meetings, but for our little Embassy, it seemed big! I was kept busy running the logistics of the visit, while Cormac got tapped to sit in our Control Room (meeting and office space at the hotel) for the first half of each day. Though we had a few stressful moments, the week was a fun peek into what life in a bigger embassy, which regularly host delegations of the same size or larger, would be like.
In addition to our delegation, delegations from all over the world showed up. Many of the African heads of state came to town for two to three days during the week. Since Malabo is a fairly small city with only a few major roadways, we caught glimpses of many of the presidential motorcades coming and going. It was interesting to watch the varying sizes and grandeur of each delegation. Egypt was readmitted to the African Union only days before the start of the Summit after being suspended for almost a year following the coup last summer. Rumors around town claimed they had the largest delegation in attendance, perhaps to celebrate their reentry to the Union. Many Egyptian expats lined the highway to greet newly elected President Sisi when he arrived in Malabo, which made their motorcade extra exciting to watch.
Our delegation made it out of Malabo without a hitch. To celebrate wheels up, Cormac organized a Two-Pi plus One-Hundredth Pizza and Dessert Pie Competition (6.29…. get it?) for the Embassy. The pressure is on, as reigning champs of the vegetarian pizza category, to out do ourselves. I’m headed out for toppings shopping as soon as the stores open this morning!
We have one more week of crazy left as the Embassy hosts two Independence Day events in the next week. Living abroad always makes me feel more patriotic and thankful for the rights and freedoms we enjoy as Americans, so I’m sure it will be a sentimental week for me.
And now, a few random photos from life out and about in Malabo: