More Than Meets the Eye
Bongolo Hospital sits approximately 150 miles south of the Equator in the village of La Bamba Gabon. Since it is on the equator the seasons are similar year-round.There is a rainy season which really means 15 to 20 thunderstorms per month. In the dry season there may be as few as 4 per month or one every 7 days or so. The average temperature year-round is between 68 and 85 degrees, with spikes over 100 degrees. It is always very humid, always too warm and humid for westerners but very comfortable for native Gabonese. The humidity effects everything. It supports an amazing variety of insects and guarantees thick and lush fauna. Fruits grow around the calendar so there are always fresh fruits to pick or buy, and they seem to be everywhere. It would be difficult for a Gabonese to starve because fruits are abundant and there for the picking. Outrageously brilliant flowers seem to spring from nowhere and anywhere at the same time and any view is decorated with cloud white egrets that seem to be there for no reason except to capture attention and hold the eye. This seeming garden of Eden betrays some sobering truths. When Bongolo Hospital was established 60% of babies died by the age of 5. Many women and babies died in childbirth.