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


Misc photos

Things have become normal.

Of course everyone has chickens running everywhere.
Of course a herd of cattle is grazing on plastic beside the building.
Of course there is no change.
Of course the grocery/food stand happens to be out of the exact ingredient you need.
Of course you need to gut the chicken/fish yourself. Americans are weird for buying those tiny, sterile fillets.

So, here’s a bunch of random photos until something interesting happens. Or rather, something interesting that isn’t a bad thing, because if you can’t say something nice….

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Lebanese Food, Moving, etc.

We went into Abidjan for haircuts, shopping, and birthday lunch. It was particularly interesting.

We got off the bus at the typical Total station (gas station).
“Go over to the road,” LM said. “There’s a taxi that MM wants that looks clean.”
We approach the taxi as the driver sticks a little glass bottle with a green liquid up his nose. By the time I had gathered my thoughts enough to comment, we had negotiated the fare and were getting in. I figured that if they didn’t protest, then maybe it was medication?

But let’s face it: medication is rarely colored neon green.

Continue reading Lebanese Food, Moving, etc.

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.”

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