It's only been eight days since my last entry but a lot has happened here in that time. For those of you who haven't been keeping up to speed, on Dec 23rd Lansana Conte died after twenty four years as president of Guinea. According to the constitution the president of the national assembly is the successor in the event of the death of the president. However, only a few hours after Conte died the military staged a coup d'etat, suspended the constitution, and dissolved the old government. The leader of the coup, Capt. Moussa Camara, is now the self-proclaimed president of Guinea.
In the time since the military took over all the volunteers in Conakry have been confined to the Peace Corps compound on lock down. So over the past few days we've basically been spending our time waiting and speculating about whether or not Peace Corps was going to be evacuated from the country. In the beginning it looked like it could go either way but now after a few days of playing wait and see it seems like the situation is stabilizing. When the new president was announced people took to the streets to cheer, apparently relieved that there would be a return to some sort of stable government. So, barring any unforeseen circumstances, we're going to be able to go back to our sites soon.
Anyone who's interested in reading more about what's going on here, BBC has been covering the situation really well. Here's a few stories they've run that give a good overview of the events of the last few days.
Due to the lock down we had to cancel our trip to Sierra Leone and all of the new volunteers had to stay at the training site for Christmas so we didn't get to meet them. It was a little disappointing having to change all of our holiday plans but at the same time it's been an interesting experience to see how everything has played out so far. After all, how many people can say that they've lived through a military coup?
Regardless of the change of plans we've still been making the best of our time here and it's been nice seeing everyone who made it into Conakry before the lock down was imposed. I've been having a great time hearing everyone's stories from their villages and I've also been spending a lot of time in the kitchen. I didn't realize how much I missed cooking until I got back here. Cooking at site is really time and effort intensive so I hardly ever do it, opting instead to just eat all my meals with my host family at site. But since getting back to Conakary I've been cooking up a storm and having a great time doing it. So rest assured I'm still enjoying the holidays.
Anyways, I just wanted to let everyone know what was going on here and that I'm OK. A lot's been happening over the past few days and I'm sure a lot is yet to come. The new government is still forming itself but as always seems to be the case in Guinea we're just going to have to exercise a bit of patience and hopefully everything will work itself out.