|Along the road from the airport where you arrive ....|
Sao Tome & Principe is one of the world's smallest countries; a couple of islands in Africa's Gulf of Guinea. Blessed with a tropical climate and beauty, the place is unknown to most folks. Poverty encumbers most of the population, but the prolific forests produce bananas, breadfruit, jacque, and mangoes.
It's the end of the school year here at the elementary school. The principal and teachers begin final exams for the fourth graders. Today, it's Portuguese language, grammar, and literature. Tomorrow, it's math, science, biology, and geography. They have 6 years of government funded education. After that, it's expensive and most don't have the opportunity.
Oh, and sugar cane. It grows well here.
Dad has run a water line to the area so they can irrigate during the dryer season if they need to. They're on the equator and on an island, so the rain is fairly reliable, fortunately.
Five kids, all but the youngest help in the fields. The youngest would gladly join in, but she's just too small. Three schools for the kids, one a mile east, another two miles west, and the last a couple of miles beyond that. There's a bus for the two farthest schools.
Out for a day's adventure with a bunch of local teens, we've made this trek before, but they like it. The palm trees provide a mid-day drink and snack. A couple dozen coconuts go in the back of the truck for mom when we get back.
|Nino and Mulere down by the shore|
Gorgeous place, wonderful people. Here's how we wound up here.
A good place for adventurous tourists? Absolutely. For the faint-hearted? Hardly. This is the road less traveled.