Saturday, July 28, 2007

"I'm not a cult leader I just play one on TV" or "There is nothing more beautiful than the awareness of poetry and comic books in your backpack"

Last Thursday we had a session on nutrition, so we all got to prepare a meal to practice cooking and review such rocket-science level material as the food pyramid. My group made fettucini alfredo with tuna. It ended up like tuna helper without the flavor, but at the same time managed to be the most nutritious and best-tasting meal I've had here, other than the cheeseburgers in Ouaga. The best part about the session, however, was this picture. Our medical advisor/nurse/doctor took it, and it is pretty emblematic of a few things. Firstly, look how green things are, even in a little village bordering the Sahel. Also, it looks like we're part of a cult or commune somewhere in Kansas. Actually that's not far from the truth. And that v-necked guy you see in the middle, the one that even 20 pounds ago was too skinny and now just looks like he hangs out in front of gas stations in North Campus and talks to you about all the poetry he hasn't really read? That's me. After being sick a couple times, and eating a different diet for the last month or so, I'm thinking I've lost a little more than 15 pounds. I don't really notice that often, except when I have to hand my bike up to the guys on top of the buses for transport. I never lifted bikes above my head in the United States, but I'm guessing that now I can only do it for about 4 seconds, whereas before I could hold a bike (without my arms trembling and showing their lack of any real usage) for around 6 seconds, maybe 7 if I had a Clif bar or Odwalla juice right before. Once I am in Kampti, I'll be able to cook for myself, and most volunteers I've talked to gain almost all of their weight back once they live in their own towns and villages. I even saw a juice place down the street from me, with fresh banana and mango juice. Sweet.

Here's another picture, this time from Ouaga. This isn't actually my beer that I'm holding it. It's not at all that I'm against drinking beer, I'm just too cheap, ahem, frugal, to buy a one liter beer that costs what I make in half a week. I just wanted to have a "living it up" picture from the big city to show you guys. While I was there I picked up a few books and have read three of them. One of them, Tin-Tin in the New World, or something to that effect, somehow made its way into the New York Times Notable book of the year club, although I don't really see how. I won't ruin it for you, but at least now I know that to get into the New York Times Notable book of the year club all I have to do is use all of my GRE vocabulary words in long sentencelike structures, inject about 1/3 tsps creativity (a dash, to be precise), and then go on and on without any point or movement in plot except to make the book long enough so that it is an actual book instead of a novella, which by specificity alone isn't allowed to be in the book of the year club. It would have to instead make do in a novella of the year club, which don't exist, at least to my knowledge. To its credit, though, it did make an excellent sun-shade when I fell asleep while passing through Boromo and the sun came over the hills and I woke up remembering how my sunscreen was packed away on top of the bus.
Tomorrow I'll going to put up more pictures of me and my site, right now I'm going to make it back home before dark and head over to Adlai's to share some of my coffee I got from Nanny. It's hazelnut and cinnamon and it's the best thing I taste every day. I love you Nanny, thanks. Until tomorrow...

No comments: