Friday, November 17, 2006

Literal Translations of Fon are Fun

Two conversations I have regularly:

Beninois: Come eat something.
Me: I'm full.
Beninois: You're not full.

Me: Did you wake up well?
Beninois: Yes. Did you wake up well?
Me: Yes. Did you sleep well?
Beninois: Yes. Did you do a little bit of work?
Me: Yes.

There is a life inside me

After having stomach cramps for a few days I got around to seeing the doctor, who informed me that I have amoebas. So that's fun.

By pure coincidence, I was seeing the doctor on the same day that the reception for the new Country Director was being held, so I got to go to that after the exam was done (since I arrived in July there hadn't been a person holding the position permanently, meaning I had a superior, but no ultimate superior). It doesn't really affect my day-to-day life, but it's nice to actually have a boss.

It turns out that Wimax has a range of 30 kilometers, and since my post is close enough to Cotonou, I might actually have relatively high-speed Internet access in a month (but no running water). I don't think I can emphasize enough that that would be the greatest thing ever.

Dad, I never bought the yovo chickens. I forgot when market day came up, and before the next one arrived I found a lady who sells yovo chicken eggs for just 10 francs more than regular eggs (roughly 2 cents).

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mouse Dead

The downside was that by the time I found its body, the ants had eaten most of it, thus giving strength to the colony. I really need to stop leaving pineapple rinds around the house.

On the plus side, I finally got around to following the directions in the cookbook the Peace Corps gave us and made a Dutch oven out of a large pot and some empty tuna cans. I can make wicked awesome cornbread now, which is a nice addition to my diet of oranges, pineapples, and rice.

Friday, November 03, 2006

More Random Observations

I really don't even think about it much anymore, but the other day I converted the price of some oranges I bought into US currency and realized I had gotten each one for 1.44 cents.

The electricity at my house has been out for a week, and I didn't really notice until I discovered that I couldn't recharge my cell phone.

People still giggle when I greet them in Fon.

I've been dehydrated to the point where I sat down and considered opening a can of tuna just to drink the juice (I decided in the end to wait for my water to boil).

I still haven't gotten rid of the mouse, but I did find out that even though I put all my food in airtight containers, it survived by eating a bar of soap. The cockroaches are getting worse, and I don't know why.


Walking back from the market, a five-year-old kid starts talking to me:

Kid: Good afternoon.
Me: Good afternoon.
Kid: Here. (gives me 25 francs)
Me: What's this for?
Kid: (says something in Fon)
Me: I don't speak Fon.
Kid: Oh, you can use it to buy an orange.
Me: Uh, thanks, you can keep it.
Kid: Goodbye.

I win.

OK, yeah. My first Oktoberfest ever was in West Africa.

Didn't See That Coming

My school administration showed me the computer room at the school the other day, and then told me I could use the Internet there for free after 8pm.

"Guh?" I responded.

It's 56k dialup, but since I'm the only one who gets to use it I actually have better access than I did in Djougou. Rock.