Ramadan and Taking Risks

There’s a link to a video that contains local church music in here, guys. Skip down a few sections if that’s what you’re interested in.

Have you ever really thought about Ramadan? I must confess that I hadn’t. It’s sunrise to sunset, with no food or water. Every day. For a month. If you’re in Russia, that’s 20 hours. Every day. For a month.

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Not getting hit by cars is desireable

This morning, on my way to work, a little girl stopped me shyly and said something. I didn’t understand. I’ve been approached multiple times by children in the past for money for food or water, and if I don’t understand they do a hand signal that’s pretty clear. This girl didn’t want that. I didn’t want to just leave, but she just kept repeating the same thing. After many apologies and asking if she knew another word for what she wanted, she finally pointed across the road. Like the sun breaking through the clouds, I suddenly realized she wanted help crossing the busiest street in Bassam. That is totally doable.

Today’s featured food: one of the multitude of “biscuits.” There are more different kinds of cookies available than anything else. They love cookies. But you can see why I got them.

Continue reading Not getting hit by cars is desireable

Taxis and Food

Ramadan Mubarak and Happy Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day is tomorrow here. None of us want to go to church, because they point out the women and have a ‘mother of the year.’ As though all the other mothers aren’t trying hard enough.

Ramadan begins today, and I think it’s hilariously awful that all the street signs (only visible during the day mind you) are wishing people a happy Ramadan while advertising enticing-looking food.

Continue reading Taxis and Food

Apartment hunting

Update: There are now links to videos of the plantation visit on that blog post. Right after the photos.


Today is a holiday of some sort (another Christian holiday we don’t celebrate in the US, which is ironic given the self-proclaimed religions of the respective countries), and it’s been pouring all day. This means that I have not moved from a 10 foot radius and am still in pajamas. On the other hand, I’m making great progress on Kingdom Hearts 356/2, and organized the kitchen cupboard. (Yes, singular.)

It’s been A Week.

Flight decisions are agonizing. As it is, I have an 11 hour layover in Morocco, which is going to be fun without a laptop or Kindle. Thanks, terrorists, for ruining flight for everyone.

Meanwhile, I’ve been apartment hunting.

Continue reading Apartment hunting

Sometimes it’s just a really unfortunate coincidence.

Also, racism.

Wednesday,  I tried to order plane tickets with Royal Air Maroc, because they have cheap flights with beautifully short flight times. I tried to use the Visa from my bank here, and it was rejected. This could either be because I put my name down wrong or need to give authorization with my bank or both….. But when I obeyed the instructions and hit “back”, nothing further worked. I decided to wait an evening to see if the payment went through anyway.

Continue reading Sometimes it’s just a really unfortunate coincidence.

AN had come in on Tuesday and then left early when her sister called and said they were shooting in the air again near the military base.

Yesterday she was annoyed. “When I got home, it was quiet! I’m mad at my sister.”


So far, everyone seems to be cooperating with the new agreement, and all is quiet.


You may have seen on the news about the mutinies. Since I live in Bassam, we don’t see any action.

Shame on BBC for expressing concern for cacao prices and not the actual people here, who really do get quite frightened by these things. They really really don’t want a repeat of the previous civil unrest.

Onward to fun things that happened after the gala.

Continue reading Plantation

The Gala

It’s rainy season. Or Power Outage Season, depending on your level of dependence on electronics.

Friday night was the gala dinner. I jumped at the chance to help out LM and MM in decorating for the first part, which had some VIPs coming (the university’s president, a representative from the US, etc). The second part was entirely the students. Let’s just say… the planning skills around here, particularly anticipating what can go wrong, could use some practice.

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