Luanda was so hot today! I always thought that being Portuguese would make me stand the heat, but this is too much! I spent all morning jumping between different government delegations and nearly fainted from the heat. A woman saw me resting in front of the Provincial Government of Housing and asked me what I was doing there. When I said I wasn't feeling well she just answered “Oh, of course, you are not from around here...” :)
Luanda is not a pedestrian-friendly city, the car is used to go everywhere, whether far or close, which contributes for the craziest and most chaotic traffic one can imagine. This influences a lot the general notion of distance. When I was asking for directions to certain places people always answered “It's just there around the corner”... Right... 30 minutes later and I do not know how many metres later I'd eventually arrive.
Unfortunately things didn't go very well today. I never managed to get hold of the people with whom I was supposed to talk to. They were either on vacation, in a meeting, or who knows what else.
To be honest, today I feel slightly demoralized, and a bit homesick... I never expected that this would be a simple task, but the fieldwork has been far more complex than planned. There are many barriers to access information and, above all, the fact that there exist so many problems associated with the theme of my research makes focusing on one aspect extremely difficult. Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow.
I always remember Fernado Pessoa whenever I find an obstacle on my way - 'Pedras no caminho? Guardo todas, um dia vou construir um castelo… ' ( 'if I have rocks on my way, I shall keep them all. Someday, I will build up my own castle…)
Just to finish, below is an interesting image showing how people build their houses everywhere, even on top of existing buildings.