Odds and ends, visitors, and more weird church things

Good grief, someone is driving around with a stuck car alarm going off.

There are four Nigerians who comprise the summer biology course. They have never taken biology before, ever. Can you imagine? There is so much we take for granted that ‘everyone knows.’ Everyone doesn’t know what protein is, or what the cell looks like, or even that we’re made of cells. I wonder if part of it is because they’re comfortable with the existence of magic?

There is not a whole lot to tell. There have been a couple of visitors from abroad, and a couple other things to note.

Continue reading Odds and ends, visitors, and more weird church things


Research supplies and availability (or lack thereof), Samo church outreach

This summer, “I’ve been busy preparing for a research project” is code for “I’ve been busy slamming my head into the desk trying to figure out how to do research when you don’t know how to contact suppliers who don’t usually have what you need anyway, or leaving at 4 PM exhausted from running in circles.”

I just spent two weeks trying to get the last of the budget for the down payment on a multiparameter instrument. It took several days and a trip to the Dean to get our lab tech to even explore the possibility (one possibility: he’s receiving a little $$ from his favorite supplier, who is slow and unreliable). Then it took another week for the answer of ‘no.’ Then I was told the money “was gone” so I couldn’t even get the small things we need.

Continue reading Research supplies and availability (or lack thereof), Samo church outreach


The university has installed suggestion boxes at the non-main entrance. One inside the gate, one outside the gate.


Seems appropriate.

Meanwhile, my colleague and I went to Ghana for the weekend.

First, I will play Travel Guide and give you my experience with Cape Coast and the road there. Afterwards, you can continue reading for the less sunny but possibly helpful cultural insights.

Continue reading Ghana

Music, Ile Boulay

Happy Pentecost holiday, even to the heathen Americans who don’t celebrate  😉

Rainy season. The Electrical Box Chickens get the additional shelter of a board in front of the grating. They are getting quite fat (unless they are constantly being replaced….). The walk to work has become an obstacle course. Planning trips has become a gamble.

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Christmas in Jacqueville

Well, there was Christmas traveling, microbiology training, searching for collaborations, re-writing class plans, and my boyfriend’s arrival, and I may never recover. I need a vacation badly. And tomorrow at least will be spent fighting with Ethiopian Air inquiring about the luggage they lost. Pray that they find it and deliver it, because none of us has the energy to fight.

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This is super-late, but I just got my camera back today. It took me a week to even notice it was missing, that’s how busy it’s been.

Back in the holiday day, we went to Assinie-Mafia, better known by me as “you should go there” or “you should take your parents there.” It’s an hour drive from Bassam, on the border of Ghana.

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I had mentioned that the university lost several people recently. Yesterday, they sent two buses of faculty, staff, and students to the funeral of the beloved supervisor/driver. (I knew him has “I wish he had picked you up form the airport.”) This man had had a heart attack before, and so the suspicion was that it was his heart again. He did not take care of himself, and screening is not as rigorous here as the US. He was in his 50’s and left behind 4 or 5 kids. Take your dang medications, people.

Continue reading Funerals