Quick hits

I've spent the better part of the past 3 days on the back of a moto. We visited 16 pumps in the Dankpen prefecture in order to get estimates for the cost of replacing them. I estimate that was about 200 miles or so. I think we were on maybe 3 actual roads the whole time. My body hurts.

I've reached another point in my Peace Corps service. I've taken to buying "biscuits" for meals. These are like little graham crackers that most little stores sell. Nigarmi likes them too. I am teaching him to beg for them.

Speaking of Nigarmi, my house is like the Kitty Cold War right now. I am taking care of Karen's cat, Ninga, and her two kittens. Ninga and company live in my bedroom, and Nigarmi lives in the other room. Nigarmi hisses at the kittens whenever they come out to play with him, then goes and hides.

Next time you find yourself moaning about the condition of life in the US, go wash a week's worth of your laundry by hand.

It's been deliciously cold in the mornings. Especially at Bryanna's house cause she lives down in a little valley. I found myself shivering even. it was a strange sensation.

hi Karen, how's Thailand?

My travel clothes were so dirty after this last pump tour that it took N'Tido a half hour to get my shirt close to its original color. I was scrubbing on it for about 15 minutes while my Petit sat and laughed at me. Then N'tido came over and was like "can you do that?" I said "of course" and she was like "uh huh ok" then she came back over and was like "il faut donne moi ca." Laundry fail.

This is the time of year when farmers burn their fields. And everything else. Huge swathes of countryside burn. I passed 2 brush fires on the way to Kabou yesterday. Little pieces of burned grass floating down out of a clear sky all the time. Bits of charcoal leaves make their way into my house. I find mysterious black streaks on my hands, then realize that its just ash from something.

So I got a bag of beef jerky in the mail the other day (I give up, send it to me!). I shared some with my host family. It got a great "what the hell is this?" reaction. but it got me thinking. In Togolese cuisine, most meals come with a bit of meat, if one is lucky, or has the money. There is like a bite of chicken, or goat, or whatever, on top of whatever you get- like rice, or pate, or fufu. This usually represents one's protein intake for the day. Anyway, I was standing there holding this bag of jerky in my hand, and I realized that the pieces I'd passed out were about as much meat as my host family got at a meal. Then I realized that I was snacking on more meat than most togolese eat over the course of like a week. Think about it.