I wrote this about a week ago, but am posting it on the 18th. I'll use the date I wrote it on the entry, to confuse the matter as much as possible...
So, it takes me a rant to actually sit down to write these days. I’ve been running around doing too many things of late, including a great visit from my parents and trying to get everything else done before going home for Christmas. I keep thinking that I should write, but haven’t made the time until now, when I have something annoying to write about.
The national phone company, Gamtel, is perhaps the most non-functional monopoly I’ve ever conceived, some stereotypical third world. I spent three hours standing in their office the other day, increasing considering the possibility of starting my own phone company here, trying to get some handle on the concept that we had to pay for service for the roughly six to nine months when we didn't have any. They acknowledge that the didn't fix the lines for all that time, but say that we pay for the rental, and not service. And they are inventing charges or something, because the bill was still three or fours times what we would have paid if we'd been keeping up the payment while we didn't have a working line. In any case, it's working again as of today, and I've been able to finally check email. Yesterday was the first time I saw email in a long time, and I'm not even sure when I last posted. I want to get this up before I leave, so that people know I haven’t given up.
My parents trip was great, truly a highlight of my life here – we got to do every cool thing I wanted to do, we powered through a lot of turf and sights and managed a good time right along. The visit to Badi Mayo was, by itself, a life-highlight, enough for a whole post of it's own. Images, too. It was a singular event in my recent life simply because I was able to make a plan, execute the steps, and things worked out well. It took me a while to realize that could even happen, I've gotten so accustomed to back-up back-up plans. Shoestrings and deep fly balls. Ah, life.
I can't wait for the cold, the strangeness of snow and crisp air that doesn't feel blow dryer. It rained last night, an almost real rain storm that they say always happens around Christmas. Enough to settle the dust for a part of the morning, enough so that I noticed some extra sweat at one point during the day. And it's gotten me thinking about snowy nights in Western New York. Living with the cold, instead of with the heat. Almost feels so distant as to be laughable, but this time next week will be just that. Ha!
Listening to a cd from my great friend that also brings me back to home, if not exactly home in Lakewood as home of my people. This hut that I sit in, this shack as my mother calls it, is my home at the moment, it feels like home, a project, a place where I'm me. But it never makes up for all my people that I miss, and that's probably the best reason I know for working on problems closer at hand. Africa is wonderful, amazing and makes me a richer person, but these people are not my first people, and that is enough for me to know that this isn't permanent for me.
So, contact me between Christmas and New Years while I visit the other world, especially if you need sums of money moved to West Africa...