Francine, an Ivorian lady, works at the centre and keeps the place ticking over by helping the resident children. Francine cooks for them and she very kindly showed me an Anglo-Ivorian dish called Eggy Yam. For UK readers: think Eggy Bread but with yam.
Abengourou taxis were a whole new experience for me. The taxis are generally old and some (majority!) are unkept. Ironically, they have small cars as taxis, such as the Peugeot 205! They are powered by gas and the fuel tank is in the boot. Some of the taxis reeked of gas as they had just filled up, which was really unnerving at times. Here's a taxi with spare gas bottles in the boot.
We enjoyed a few beers around the local bars in town, which are called Maquis. Acheke is an Ivorian dish consisting of ground Cassava. Super tasty and healthy too. It's the white dish in this photo. After cleaning your hands (!), the best way to eat is rolling small balls in the palms of your hands.
Chloe took me to one of her favourite Maquis that was well sheltered from the sun by the palm trees.
I'm up for trying new things and when bush meat was on the menu, I jumped at the chance. The bush meat was Agouti, which is some form of rodent. Very tasty and difficult to describe the flavour. After eating, I saw two delivered to the restaurant. I searched online after eating it to discover there are concerns about Agouti being a carrier or Ebola. Côte d'Ivoire is Ebola free. Here's a photo of the skull!
Another Cassava dish is foutou banane. This is plantain in a very stick slump that is tasty and very filling. See white dish in photo.
Feeling whoozy after beers. Most strange.
Chloe had another visitor arrive whilst I was there. A Filipino Australian lady called Leela who lives in Ghana and runs Leela's Love Foundation. This was the first time someone said I looked like Ned Kelly!. She also helped pull water from the well!
Chloe is a very thoughtful person who passed on advice about malaria that is different to what I received in the UK but invaluable because of the local knowledge and experience. She very kindly gifted some spare general medicines useful for travel.
Saying goodbye was tough as they had been so kind and hospitable to me during my stay. Lots of fond memories! I wish everyone at CREER all the very best for the future!
© 2018-2020 Stephen Matthews, Biking Over Yonder