Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Welcome to Sao Tome…runway too short

SO we arrived in Sao Tome today (5:30am). This is the normal time everyone wakes up in Sao Tome. We arrived at the airport, it had only one runway like most African countries and small cities in Europe and the United States. The airport is really different from most because there is no real fence surrounding the airport. The reason is because the airport divided a fishing village and this allows them to access the fishing areas and the markets to sell their goods.

We arrived at our house a short while after takeoff. Its about 5 minutes from the airport, and a short walk from the beach. The house has four rooms, teo bathrooms, a kitchen, porch, and living room. We also have an attachment that used to be old slave quarters. We will use this area to store our XO’s the server and solar panels. Speaking of solar panels…we didn’t order them so we may have to ship them back to OLPC or where ever they came from.

We took a walk around the city centre and saw the library, theatre, and museum. Don’t be fooled, these are not the normal planes in America, they have an African feel. The theatre only plays two movies.

Paul and a friend of his went to pick up the XO’s from the airport while we explored the city. There was some problems at customs and we ended up paying $40 for customs. Compared to what other teams may experience this seems relatively cheap, thanks to the on-going relationship the University of Illinois has with the Sao Tomean government. Unfortunately, other teams may have to pay as much $2500 to get their XO’s and adapters through customs.

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