Brenda Alan, WorldVenture
See changes in Guinea during the decade I have been here.
– New roads started being paved around town in 2010. Previous road work was in 1968.
– A power grid was installed in 2012. If you are ‘lucky’ it comes to your neighborhood every other night between 7PM and Midnight. The previous power grid was from 1968.
– Vehicles. A decade ago, people were proud of their bicycles. I could recognize almost every vehicle owner. Now people are putting in speed bumps because of the number of accidents due to vast amounts of motorcycles and cars.
– Chickens. We now have the option to purchase frozen chickens from Europe, USA, and Brazil as well as live varieties that actually have meat on them.
– Fuel. The longest it ever took me to get a full tank for my vehicle was 2.5 weeks. There were 5 gas stations for a town of over 200,000 people. Now the fuel stations are all over – even in the middle-of-nowhere countryside.
– Kerosene lanterns. Night time was so dark. People would put candles inside glass jars to have outdoor lights. Kerosene lanterns were quite upscale. LEDs changed all that for the better and it is now hard to buy Kerosene.
– Phones. When cell phones first came in 2006 it would take us on average 50 tries to call out to the USA. Text messages could take two days to be delivered across town. 3G arrived about 2 years ago and the Facebook revolution has taken hold here as well. This month the first fiber-optic cables started to be laid in the ground.
– Women in pants. Becky still clearly remembers the church sermon when the pastor said that women should not wear pants. Rarely in town did we ever see women in pants, but that is changing. We have full hijab clad women and women wearing pants on the same streets now.
– Government offices. Kankan is one of the main administrative regions for Guinea. Every single government building has been remodeled or rebuilt across the whole town in the last 2 years.
– Schools as a business. Many private schools have been built. One impressive looking one runs from kindergarten through university. One part that has not changed is that many kids still do not read before junior high.
– Churches. In the past 10 years we have gone from 2 church buildings to 5, or put another way 5 Sunday gathering places to 9. (Catholics and all others included)
– Christian Land ownership. No parachurch groups owned property and now 2 groups own land.
– Inflation. When we first visited Guinea $1 = 1972 Guinea Franc (GNF) now $1 = 9100 GNF. Our largest bill used to 5,000 GNF and now we have a 20,000 GNF.
I am “migrating” in December for 3 ½ short weeks to be with family for Christmas. I will also be having my annual medical check-ups in California.
Please pray for safe travel and good medical reports!