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Millennium Celebration in Gabon

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  • bobutne
    The following is an old e-mail from a travel agent colleague who sponsored a Millenium trip to Gabon for a group of South Africans. M bolo Bob, So I didn t
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 2, 2006
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      The following is an old e-mail from a travel agent colleague who
      sponsored a Millenium trip to Gabon for a group of South Africans.

      M'bolo Bob,

      So I didn't tell you about our New Year's eve saga. Well here goes.
      Firstly didn't sell all the accommodations. So had a loss of approx
      US$12,000.00 We were due for departure on 26 Dec and return 05 Jan.
      As in all groups there is a wanker, excuse the expression but this
      guy was a No 1.

      3 days before leaving he phones to cancel as he had had an argument
      with his wife. He told me he was stopping his cheque. I already had
      special clearence on it since his first one had bounced!!! Anyway, I
      play the role of marriage counselor and they make up.

      On 26 Dec, our flight was delayed by about 6 hours. So we met up
      later at the apt. We all sat drinking, smoking, chatting and
      basically looking forward to our trip. The reason for the flight
      delay was, wait for it, NO PILOT for the 747. So Air Gabon had to
      bring in the 767 and this, to our horror, is a non smoking aircraft.
      On arrival, a friend of ours met us at the airport and put us in the
      VIP lounge. Our visas were refused. Our friend sorts this problem
      out. We eventually get to the hotel at 04h00 am. Meant to leave the
      hotel at 09h30 with the hotel bus to get to the port. At the
      breakfast table, find out that those who were meant to have had
      double beds had singles and visa versa.

      The bus from the hotel was not there, so the hotel got us 5 taxes as
      we did have a lot of baggage for ten days. Just as were entering the
      port, the wanker gets stopped by the police for a control. I sort
      that problem out. Then we meet up with Bernard the owner of the
      Ekwata resort who apologies that the boat had already left, he
      thought because we arrived late we would be late as well. So we had
      to wait an hour at the port.

      On arrival at Ekwata, everyone was most impressed with the place. Our
      rooms were not ready. This was my fault I knew this would be the case
      and did not warn them in advance. Then the wanker wants a room next
      to us and another couple. Neither of us wanted him there so we
      convinced him to take the room that was the furthest away and was
      already available. Monday evening starting to wind down.

      Tuesday - Sheer paradise, by night time we were dancing on the tables.
      Wednesday - In the afternoon, I receive a message from JNB to say
      that our return flight, which was a supplementary flight, had been
      cancelled. So I start negotiating with Air Gabon as to what to do.
      They only had 30 pax booked to which 12 of them were my clients.
      Would you believe it but they agreed to pay for us to stay at their
      cost the extra 4 nights at the resort. What other airline would do
      the same thing. They could have said either you leave on 02 Jan or
      you stay in LBV. They were brilliant.

      Thursday - Afternoon. Bianca (writer's daughter) and a friend went
      horse riding on the beach. My friend fell off the horse, fractured
      her ribs and lost her memory!!! Poor Sabine she was in such a state.
      It took her a couple of hours to remember things. Could not believe
      it when she said to me, "Jenny where am I? How did I get here?"
      In the meantime, the wanker spent his time taking photos with his new
      digital camera and loading them onto his lap top. That's all he did.
      He does not like beach holidays, so why the hell did he come?

      Friday - The famous 31 December 1999. Lots of activity setting up the
      place for the party. As I had not sold all the accommodation, Bernard
      had sold it to local residents and only gave me back half. The place
      was magnificent, atmosphere unreal. Disc jockey, great music. We were
      already dancing before dinner. We asked to see in the new year at
      11h00 being 12h00 South African time. They asked us what music we
      wanted, so without too much hesitation we decided on Gloria
      Gaynor's "I will survive" thinking of life in South Africa.

      Well at 11h00 it was happy new year, everyone up dancing, French
      crowd as well. The food was exquisite, At 12h00 happy new year again
      with fireworks, champagne etc. The nights was total perfection.
      Around 03h30 my crowd goes to bed and I'm still talking to some of
      the French crowd when Bernard waves good night to me. I said "Are you
      still here, I thought you had gone already?"
       
      Well Bob that is the last time I will ever say that to anyone for as
      long as I live. He went into his room with Nathalie his girlfriend
      who at the time was 4 month pregnant. Said he wasn't feeling well,
      got undressed went into the bathroom had a heart attack and died.
      Nathalie came running onto the terrace saying there is something
      wrong with Bernard. It was too late. I woke Mauro and then Bernard's
      body was put onto a boat and taken back to Libreville. Nathalie was
      obviously hysterical and everyone around in a state of shock.

      Nathalie left an hour later.

      Needless to say the atmosphere was please excuse the
      expression "deathly" around the place all through the day. Sabine was
      leaving that day, in any case, and just before she left the manager
      informed me that they were going to close the place down on Monday
      and that we could not stay the extra 4 nights. So I had to find
      alternative arrangements for my group.

      The wanker kept threatening to sue me for all the inconveniences.
      Well, just as Sabine was leaving, a lady came up to me to who was
      walking along the beach and offered to show me, the next day, another
      place.

      We went to visit it the next day, it was ok but the only problem for
      the first night was we all had to sleep in the same room. You know
      Bob after all we had gone through why not. So on the Monday, the new
      place was coming to collect us. Guess who wasn't ready, the wanker,
      had to wait half an hour for him.

      On arrival they announce that they have another room, great, so we
      say the girls in one room and the guys in another. The wanker's wife
      refuses saying she wants to sleep with him and it doesn't matter that
      all the other guys would be there. So we left them the room and six
      of us slept for the one night in the one room. Then the wanker and
      his wife decide they don't like the place and that they prefer to
      stay in LBV. So I organize for them to go to LBV.

      Would you believe that we see the shuttle boat come across and
      breakdown in the middle of the estuary!!! Anyway, they stayed the 4
      nights in LBV. On the bus to go the apt, the wanker at 05h00 in the
      morning says again he was going to sue me!!!!

      Well Bob that is basically how I saw in the new year, and believe me
      it was not pleasant. It was meant to be the first real holiday that
      our family had had together since moving to SA. Never again!
      Jenny
    • Amin F. Abari
      On the bright side, no more mishaps can happen at Ekwata, since apparently it was given as a gift to the King of Morocco! I guess with all the many resorts
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 2, 2006
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        On the bright side, no more mishaps can happen at Ekwata, since
        apparently it was given as a gift to the King of Morocco! I guess
        with all the many resorts here no one will miss one less.
      • bobutne
        The FFL loves Ekwata, too. http://www.kepi.cncplusplus.com/Gabon/Ekwata/Ekwata_01.htm
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 2, 2006
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          The FFL loves Ekwata, too.
          http://www.kepi.cncplusplus.com/Gabon/Ekwata/Ekwata_01.htm



          --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "Amin F. Abari"
          <aminabari@y...> wrote:
          >
          > On the bright side, no more mishaps can happen at Ekwata, since
          > apparently it was given as a gift to the King of Morocco! I guess
          > with all the many resorts here no one will miss one less.
          >
        • bobutne
          LIBREVILLE, GABON (PRWEB) January 5, 2005 – A November 10th report in the New York Times falsely alluded that His Excellency Omar Bongo Ondimba, President of
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 5, 2006
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            LIBREVILLE, GABON (PRWEB) January 5, 2005 – A November 10th report in
            the New York Times falsely alluded that His Excellency Omar Bongo
            Ondimba, President of The Gabonese Republic, paid $9 million dollars
            to lobbyist Jack Abramoff for a meeting with U.S. President George W.
            Bush. "I have never met Mr. Abramoff, and have certainly never paid
            any money to him or his company," says President Bongo. "My meeting
            with President Bush and other US Presidents was arranged through
            normal diplomatic channels."

            Abramoff, a Republican fundraiser, is under investigation by a
            Washington grand jury and two U.S. Senate committees. He also faces a
            Florida indictment on federal charges of fraud. The New York Times
            reported that Abramoff "pushed to sign President Bongo as a client"
            for $9 million, payable to Abramoff's Maryland-based lobbying firm,
            GrassRoots Interactive.

            Further, the New York Times stated, "[President Bongo's government is
            regularly accused by the United States government of human rights
            abuses." In fact, in a report released by the U.S. State Department
            on February 28, 2005, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and
            Labor found that the Gabonese government respected the rights of the
            accused, and that it protected freedom of speech, freedom of
            assembly, and freedom of religion. Further, the Gabonese government
            acknowledged historical human rights abuses in a 2004 white book.
            According to the U.S. State Department report, "President Bongo wrote
            a supportive preface to the book, which sharply criticized the
            country's past human rights record."

            His Excellency's Personal Advisor Mike Jocktane takes umbrage with
            the New York Times' reportage of Gabon's human rights record. Citing
            Gabon's work with former South African President Nelson Mandela,
            global peace and eco-tourism initiatives taken with former U.S.
            Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Gabon's Jean Ping presiding over
            the 59th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Jocktane
            says, "Gabon's current standing and active participation in the
            international community is an indication of our country's position
            and commitment to peace via effective and relevant leadership –
            locally and globally."

            Further, President Bongo is calling upon the New York Times to
            clearly define the "human rights abuses" cited in their article, to
            issue a retraction, and to apologize to his country and
            administration. "While doing so," he says, "the New York Times should
            discuss the extent to which the U.S. has engaged in human and civil
            rights abuses throughout its history. No country influenced by
            European culture, including the United States, is without a history
            of both human and civil rights challenges."
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