Something about Angola and the people
Angola is a country located in southern Africa with an Atlantic coast of 1600 km. As you can read on the website of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, or on wikipedia, Angola is currently a politically stable country and the third largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa. With an area of about 1,246,600 square kilometers, it is the 22nd largest country in the world - about twice the size of France, the largest country in the European Union.
The head of state (and executive power, this is the presidential system) is President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço (since 2017). Former President José Eduardo dos Santos was one of the longest-serving presidents in the world (1979 to 2017).
The current President, Lourenço, came up with a vision for New Angola, with an effort to make the economy work properly, with an emphasis on economic diversification, industrialization, support for education, and the fight against corruption and money laundering. Initially, its changes were visible, but with the continuing decline in oil prices (the country's main export commodity) and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation worsened.
People in Angola
The total population of Angola is over 31 million (estimated in 2020), the population density is 24.97 inhabitants per km2 and the average annual population growth is 2.2%. A large proportion of the population lives in cities. Angola has a high poverty rate, averaging 40.6%.
The capital of Angola is Luanda with a population of about 7 million. Other important cities are: Lubango (1.01 million inhabitants), Huambo (0.9 million inhabitants), Lobito (0.73 million inhabitants), Benguela (0.47 million inhabitants).
We live directly in the capital Luanda, in the province of Luanda. The capital is like Prague - only a handful of people were really born here. The province has about 7 million inhabitants. The name of the province is always the same as the name of the capital of the province. I would compare their division of provinces to our division of regions. For comparison - we have the Moravian-Silesian Region (Luanda) and the regional city is Ostrava (Luanda). The husband and his family come from Uíge.
Tribes and Christians
Ethnic composition: Bantu tribes and nationalities, most notably Ovimbundu (approximately 37% of the population) and Kimbunda (approximately 25%), then Bakongo (approximately 13%), Chokwe, Lunda, Ganguela, Nhaneca-Humbe, Ambo, Herero, Xindunga, half-breeds (about 2%) and whites, especially Portuguese (1%).
Religion: Christianity (80%), of which more than half are Catholics, other Angolan Christians subscribe to one of the Protestant denominations; traditional animists (2%): in "pure" form only marginally and rather in rural areas; Islam (1%)
The official language here is Portuguese, Kwanza.
And the others :-)
There are only two seasons in Angola: the local summer, or rainy season, and the Angolan winter - the so-called "casimbo". The rainy season lasts from September to May, and the dry season logically occurs from May to September.
Purchasing: shops are ruled by an invasion of Chinese products. There are several supermarket chains that I can compare to our Albert, Tesco, Globus or Kaufland. And then, of course, there are a lot of markets where I prefer to shop. Not only because of the prices in the shops and the freshness of the goods. By buying on the market, I will support local people and not the rich man from Europe.
Transport: the roads are asphalt - the main ones. The others are clay. The main moves are officially 4-lane, but probably no one understands or respects the marking of the lanes. So the result is that there are 3 to 5 lanes in each direction. Local people use small blue-and-white minibuses for transportation, so-called "taxis". I haven't had to use them yet - thankfully. I think it's hell. There is also something like public transport, but maybe only sometimes and certainly not according to the timetable. There are also a lot of bikers and people crossing the road wherever they remember. And the sellers go through it all :-). Mostly women with a lavor on their head called "Zungeirash". During your trip, you can also buy - everything from toilet paper to a piece of furniture, clothing, food, home accessories ...
Healthcare: there are state hospitals as well as private hospitals and many clinics. You pay at all clinics - in some more, in some less. But it is quite common for them to write you a list of the materials they need to be able to treat you at all before the treatment. If you do not pay in advance, you will not even receive the treatment. Even if it's about life.
What to say in conclusion?
Angola is a beautiful, diverse country full of treasures and surprises - and by that I don't just mean its mineral wealth like oil, diamonds and iron ore. As everywhere, people are intelligent and stupid, hardworking and lazy, evil and kind. There are people like us (and everywhere else) who are going through a similar, if not the same, development as we in Europe. Maybe the families here hold more together, the stress of payments is eliminated here, because there is always someone in the family to help you - you me today, I will help you next time. For a long time I tried to figure out how to actually specify and describe life here, until this occurred to me:
"Life here is not as comfortable as we have in Europe (easily accessible water, electricity, regular and functioning public transport, affordable luxury housing) - it is not alone here clarity. State support for the weak social sphere is here, but power does not work (certainly not for the poorest) and is far from so high and sophisticated. But life is easier here, more at ease, without unnecessary stress, envy and the pursuit of something that isn't really important at all. People can live from practically nothing, but they wake up every morning and thank them for the next day they can be here, they put a lavor on their head (true, mostly women, but also men) and go out into the hot streets selling toilet paper or potatoes. Who among us could do this for more than a week?
And you won't see any of these women at the window of your car angry! He will always sell you his goods with joy and a smile. In those moments, my annoyed clerk always remembers, "Booh, don't bother," he goes home with a vision of a beautiful regular salary and sits in a soft chair in a warm office all day.
Yes, there are things that I will probably never understand, or maybe over time. Maybe one day I'll understand why some things do the way they do. I keep watching everything and looking for understanding. However, I admire these people very much for their strength, perseverance and tenacity. "