«How about we move to Angola for a few months?», asked my husband after getting an assignment there in early January 2012. I jumped at the opportunity to live in Africa for a short period and after all, what I imagined to be an emerging and exciting country. I couldn’t fathom a better time for me to live abroad than during the second year of my Master program when I had a year to complete my Master’s Thesis. At the end, a few months turned into eight months as an expat living in Angola and here I am, sharing my experience with you!
I have mixed feelings about being an American expat in Luanda, Angola. I realize that I lived in the city during a very transient time. The civil war that tore the country apart right after the war for independence from Portugal had just ended a decade earlier. The bullet hole-filled buildings in the city center are still getting mended and the millions of landmines that litter the countryside have yet to be deactivated. The country though is optimistic, and in it’s favor, it’s rich in natural resources. Hungry for Western expertise, expats are flocking mostly from Portuguese-speaking countries like Portugal, Brazil, and also from the great US state of Texas, since that’s where the oil experts reside. There are lots of opportunities and corporations are eager to get a piece of it. And that’s what brought me to Sub-Saran Africa. My boyfriend works for an international corporation and was asked to work on an assignment there and I came along for the ride.