[ Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire ]
Perhaps the most regular occurrence punctuating my stay in Abidjan has been the Sunday morning routine in my building.
As I have said, I live on the third floor of a four-story walk-up, which is transformed each Sunday into a worship hall for the local Church of Christ. During the week, the minister runs a small shop on the ground floor, so there are always congregants visiting our compound—but things escalate each weekend.
The setup begins Saturday afternoon, then next morning the faithful arrive in large groups, first thing. By now I know their faces, and I greet them all. Children too young to attend the service congregate on my floor, with two or three chaperons. My windows and doors are typically open, so the kids nervously push their way into my room, eager for a handshake:
“Bonjour Le blanc. Ça va?”
“Ça va bien, mes amis. Bonjour!”
(Repeated numerous times.)
Soon the kids are playing games and singing songs on my balcony, while upstairs the adults belt out familiar hymns in four-part harmony. (The hymns are familiar, not their language. Always in French, of course.) My favorite part of the day is around noon, when the mosque across the street starts midday prayers while, simultaneously, the service upstairs sings the final hymn of the day—it’s a wonderful, discordant counterpoint.
For the past two weeks I have gone upstairs at precisely this time, camera in hand, to grab a few shots of my colorful, charismatic friends.
What follows are images from the past two Sundays. They reflect my attempt to master the new camera enough to (1) do the same things I could do with the a5000 and (2) experiment with the many new settings of the a6300. Win some, lose some.
Additional details are included in the various captions.