CI’s brand of bribery

It’s looking like I’m finally moving to a better apartment. As in, exactly the same, but up three floors! And I bribed someone today, I think! The last time I bribed someone, it was for exactly the same thing, actually….

Continue reading CI’s brand of bribery


Something new today: a guy selling live little catfish, wrapped around sticks like those bell sticks people shake during Jingle Bells, in a wheelbarrow of muddy water.

Butchering Chickens

I hailed a taxi from the bank and needed to go to the pharmacy instead of the University. “Le gran carrefour at Bon Berger,” I told the taxi driver, and he giggled. I figured he was laughing at my accent, because “carrefour” is an evil word which I say ever other day yet STILL butcher. He kept giggling all the way to the place, when one of the other passengers got out. He shook his head when I said I could get out there (Bon Berger was on the other side of the very busy road). He then proceeded to drive to the university, where I explained again that I wanted to go to Bon Berger, more specifically the pharmacy. Then he groaned, and it was our turn to giggle.

Yesterday the guy in charge of the copy room was translator for my housekeeper, and kept saying ‘chicken’ instead of ‘kitchen.’

The little things….

My kitchen light is still not fixed, and no sign of the electrician. Moreover, my small lamp (for which I finally got a new bulb) has been possessed, and cycles through the settings without any input from me. Bets on whether the light ever gets fixed?


On Saturday, CG taught me how to kill a chicken. So that’s what this post is about. If you are squeamish about raw chicken, switch to this or something. I won’t show the chicken at the point of death, though, because we were both otherwise occupied.
Continue reading Butchering Chickens

“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

Prayer request, folks: Please pray for the Muslims here around me, that they find Christ as savoir. Not because they’re bad people, but because they’re good people. Thanks.

In this post:
– Real estate agent disorganization (in which nobody is surprised)
– Bus rides are fun in rainy season (if you enjoy a ride)
– Random food

Continue reading “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

Eid Al-Fitr

Eid mubarak.

Today, or last night at sundown, marks the end of Ramadan. All of Cote d’Ivoire is happy, and we got back to Bassam for almost a fair price*, and the market was nearly empty.

Yesterday we went into the city to get haircuts, and it was very busy. Unfortunately, we had to pass the slaughterhouse on the way back, and so got stuck in traffic as every Muslim in the city made their way to that single point by the only road to get their sheep for slaughter. It was also pouring, bringing down the number of usable lanes**.  So we were stuck in traffic for at least 45 minutes, with nothing to see. We finally got out of Abidjan and on the road to Bassam, and the driver got a flat tire. That poor guy.

The church service went very, very long. It was the delayed father’s day service. Led by the men. I assume the women were just as incapable of keeping to the allotted time. But my patience for pointless rambling is inversely proportional to my hunger and directly proportional to the room temperature. I think MM was just as eager to get out of there– she made it out first!

In a holiday miracle, the internet is nice and smooth, and I’m scrambling to try to remember what I wanted to download…..

* He wasn’t even Muslim. We passed a monstrous wreck on the way out and he crossed himself.

** Nevermind that it wasn’t technically a usable lane to begin with, if you’re a robot obeying traffic rules.

Good Place = No News

There is a mechanic working on a car literally less than a foot from my back patio, which is less than maybe 5 feet from my bedroom window. I cannot wait to move to the third floor.

Sooo…. there was a lot of talk during the interviews about adapting our research to what we have, or keeping ties with our old institutions so we can use their resources during the summer*. I’ve spent the summer so far preparing for a project that requires establishing cell culture facilities here, and finally coming to realization that it’s probably never going to happen. I’ve also spent the summer waiting for my advisor to finish the parts of the paper from my dissertation work that he kept saying he’d do, and again coming to the realization that it’s probably never going to happen. (Don’t think he’s negligent or anything– there are circumstances I won’t get into here.)

This means that I’ve spent the past couple days writing and planning, and it’s nice to be busy and full** of hope again. Check back at the end of the summer and I’ll be back to reality.

So in the meantime, today’s food thing is “adjuevan”. It’s a fermented fish product that’s used in ‘sauces.’

Continue reading Good Place = No News