Right out of college, I moved to the small West African nation of Equatorial Guinea. I was working as an engineer for an oil and gas company. I spent 9 months living in Equatorial Guinea or on an oil platform off the coast of EQG. I was an unfortunate victim of the drop of price in oil. I love working in Equatorial Guinea many reasons and miss it every day. Here are the top 8 things I miss about EQG.
Walking to work every day
Due to reliable transportation issues and the distance from my home to the work base, I walked the mile to and from work in the mornings and evenings. It was great exercise as well as a chance to look for a Green Mamba in the grass. I never saw one. I also enjoyed walking by the new park that was being built and seeing what progress had been made.
The chicken club sandwich
One of the perks of living in EQG was that we lived at the Hilton Hotel and food was included in the room. I wasn’t a huge fan the buffet, but I loved eating on the patio. My favorite order was a pollo con club sin mayonesa con Coka-Cola sin yellow. A chicken club without mayo and a Coke without ice. It got to the point that I would walk outside nod at the bartender and about 15 mins later my order would appear.
$6.00 bottles of my favorite Merlot
It is hard to imaging that I would discover my favorite brand of merlot in Africa, but that is what happened. My co-workers introduced me to their favorite Chilian wine called Casillero del Diablo. It was at my first social function where I tried this amazing wine. What was even better was the price tag. It cost 3,000 XCFA or about $6 bucks depending on exchange rate. I was rather excited to find this wine in the USA until I saw the $14.00 price tag.
Saturday Afternoon Soccer games
Every Saturday, we would leave work a little early and head over to the small soccer field and have pick-up games with the stop staff and engineers who were in town. It was usually 6 v 6 games and a lot of fun. I remember my first game with the guys. They were expecting a clueless girl who didn’t know how to play. I didn’t bother to correct that assumption. The gig didn’t last long until I got I cherry picked a rebound from the goalkeeper and scored. I might not speak Spanish, but I understand enough to know he got ragged on for letting a girl score. That was the start of a great friendship and my go to guy when I had shop issues.
Watching the dolphins play in the light under the flare at 3 AM.
If we weren’t busy during the night shift while offshore, at 3 am I a could be found on the starboard site of the platform. I loved watching our resident pod of dolphins feed under the light of the flare. It was a nightly occurrence that I loved. I wish I had pictures of it but we weren’t allowed to have cameras on that part of the rig.
Seeing the Shark Feeding Frenzy
Due to the remoteness of the rig and the islands record with waste. The lesser of the ecological evils was to dump the food scraps off the platform after every meal. I didn’t like it, but it was either feed the sharks or feed the monkey at the landfill. The sharks learned when meal time was and would have a feeding frenzy.
Watching the sunset from the office window
I loved watching the sunset from one of the office windows. The colors were always spectacular and made working late worth it.
Getting excited to see mountain
The town I lived in was overlooked by Pico Basile. Like many mountains, Pico is a little shy and wasn’t always visible. It was a real treat when she came out and showed herself.