I got an amazing opportunity to visit the largest basilica in the world last Friday! On our way home from the seminars, we stopped in Yamoussoukro and I got these amazing pictures (despite the fact that we were not allowed to take pictures and my handy-dandy iPhone died on me).
The Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Paix was so beautiful and huge! The basilica was constructed in the late 1980’s under the first president of Cote d’Ivoire, the celebrated Felix Houphouet-Boigny. The basilica was consecrated by Pope John Paul II in September of 1990 and is just a bit larger than the St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. See, picture below.
Our guide took us on an hour long trip, complete with little known facts about the basilica that ended at a small gift shop. We left Yamoussoukro and headed back to Abidjan to find a city ready for the world cup! Cote d’Ivoire was set to play Japan the following day.
Ivorians were dressed up in orange and green but generally everyone seemed to be pessimistic and had low expectations. I stayed in my room and waited up for the game (which aired at 1AM local time!). When Cote d’Ivoire scored their first goal, the ground was literally shaking as people were screaming and the music was rumbling throughout Cocody.
When Cote d’Ivoire scored the second goal, I was a little worried! I could hear people yelling and I could see people running up and down the streets from the window. It was pretty amazing. I just so happen to have some Japanese neighbors and I could also hear them screaming in disapproval, which made the experience all the more entertaining!
Cote d’Ivoire plays on Thursday against Colombia! Hopefully, I can find a good maqui to watch the game!