Lots of people told me how insanely quiet Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire's actual capital, is, with its wide paved boulevards and enormous cathedral. Compared to Abidjan, it is silent.
The Guardian recently published a piece about the basilica built there by the country's "founding father," Félix Houphouët-Boigny. Go read the article and see the amazing photos of the tallest basilica in the world – seriously bonkers.
I wasn't sure what was more fearsome, the amazing marble architecture, or the crocodiles inhabit the lake surrounding the presidential palace. Normally people can't approach the fence around the lake, but fortunately, a gendarme was standing by and let us take a few photos. Lots of small crocodiles were sunning themselves on sandbars, but when a huge one came out of the water, wow. Sadly, the crocodiles' caretaker was eaten by his charges (Fr) a few years ago.
Travel and research notes
Fieldwork and travel in Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Mali, as well as Burkina Faso, Morocco, Tanzania, South Africa, and wherever else I end up. Plus occasional research-related thoughts.