A long and winding day

Got up. Fell out of bed. Pulled a comb across my head…no that’s John Lennon.

Today was a day of progress and confusion. I got up fairly early and began work on my course website for the CCC class. I’m about halfway through writing the little quizzes that are going to accompany the recorded audio of my lectures to check comprehension. Mme Bousso was going to be here about 9, so I wanted to get done with breakfast and well underway before she started working around the house. I was also going to go get the new phone, so there was another thing to take up my time in the afternoon after I was bored with writing quiz questions.

After half an hour or so, it began to rain like mad. Bousso and Djibi probably wouldn’t come until after the rain ended, so I had several hours of work. Finally, around noon, she called and asked if it would be necessary to come today, and I gave her the day off. I am going down to meet the family tomorrow afternoon anyway. As soon as the rain stopped, the local kids showed up to play. I told them that the ground around the swing was too muddy, but they wanted to come in and sit in the courtyard anyway. I told them it was OK. I got a photo of them, and there they are:

Kids 2

That’s Mariata and Emmanuel in the back, his last name is Compaore and his father is a metal worker who lives around the corner. Her parents live down the road, I haven’t met them but her big sister, an adult, stopped by to give the OK the other night. The two little girls in the middle are Kadi and Aisha; they are sisters who live right next door. Their father works in the Ministry of Environment. Their little brother is Amadou, who is hiding behind Emmanuel’s little brother Richard in the front row. Richard is very daring. The first day he came here, he asked me politely if he could sleep here. I told him he would have to go to his own house to sleep. I’m OK with them playing in my yard, though, now that I have the OK from their families. I still have to fix the swing rope, though – it is frayed from too-enthusiastic swinging rubbing it up against the eves of the house.

After the rain ended, they got the idea they were going to clean up the water that had flowed all over the covered patio. Very nice idea. Mariata is a very helpful little girl. However, being kids, they ended up throwing water on each other and the place is messier now than it was before. They had fun, though. Aisha and Kadi and Amadou’s big sister came around with a stick when it appeared to be getting out of control and she made them do a little actual cleanup.

Djibi showed up about 4:30 and we tried to go down to Ouaga 2000 for the English Mass at the Papal Nuncio’s. Foolish me, I figured I could just look at Google Maps if I couldn’t remember how to find the place. Of course I couldn’t. By the time I figured this out, they had already started and nobody in the neighborhood knew what I was talking about. Talking to Brenda afterwards, I was within a block or two of it but nobody understood.

Then, we went up to the main market to get my cell phone. Hurrah to have a cell phone that actually works! After some screwing around, I left with the phone. Only to find out when I got home that the mobile data is not set up, so the thing can’t receive 3G signals, and then when I tried to call Djibi, he couldn’t hear me, even with the plug-in headset, so I think the transmitter is shot. Back again tomorrow. In the mean time, the old phone, that I had intended to give to Djibi, has now given up the ghost and won’t recharge at all, with either of my batteries. It says it is recharging but when you unplug it it immediately shuts down. So no power is getting to the battery. Bummer.

Anyway, on my way to the cell phone guy, I stopped to get a picture of the Wahabi mosque, and here it is:

Wahabi mosque 2

It’s actually not as big as I remembered it the day before. But it is an impressive place anyway.

And after getting the cell phone, I went again to the big supermarket in order to get some milk and detoured past the liquor aisle. Glenfiddich sells for 29500 CFA the liter (something like 60 bucks). I passed. Alcohol is a crutch; I want to get through the adjustment period on my own. But I sure could have used a drink after I found out that even the new damn phone doesn’t work!

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