Saturday, March 22, 2008

One hour, One picture

An hour to upload, but so worth it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Italian Alps

I looked out of the window yesterday morning at 35,000 feet and saw mountains sticking their frozen toes out of the clouds. I landed last night and, as the plane bounced up and then down again before coming to a stop, a few people clapped their appreciation. I thought people were still clapping, but when I looked around everyone had stopped. It was just the sand and dust of West Africa against the outside of the plane.

The vacation was wonderful. On the AirFrance flight I watched Enchanted. Great movie. Venice is the most interesting place I've ever seen. Well, Big Bend might be more interesting, or Cedar Cove. But it was fantastic. The food was great. The espresso was better than great. The lack of jetlag was great. As was the metro in Rome. Use it if you're there! My family is choice. We went without arguing for about a day and a half, which is a day and a half longer than any other reunion we've ever had. Italian eyedrops are better than French eyedrops. Florence is beautiful. The Sistine Chapel is astounding. The best Italians are the best, the worst Italians are the worst. I just checked my mail and got a card from Sandy Monzingo. There was a stamp on the envelope that said missent to myanmar. This letter somehow left Texas, got mixed up east of the subcontinent, and then found its way to Burkina Faso. Tough cookie. It reminds me of Pinnochio.

I'll put up pictures tomorrow. I have my memory card but there isn't a memory card slot on this computer and my camera cord is hidden away in Kampti. Sorry. But some previews: black and white pictures of Katie feeding San Marco birds are the best. Pictures of the Colosseum are a close second. The other 800 hundred pictures I took tie for a respectable third.

I'll write more tomorrow. All my best, Clay

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I'm sitting under an airconditioner in a multi-storied office building linked up to a little something something called the world wide web. Am I still in village? Hmm, because I'm in a good mood I'll give you two good guesses. I'll even give you the answer before I give you the two guesses: no. I'm in a city, where I'll catch my plane to Niger, then to Paris, and then to Rome in a couple of days. Until then, it's real showers, real beds, and food like you wouldn't imagine - unless you live in America, where you can eat everything imaginable, even if you do have to pay a pretty penny at Whole Foods to do it. I actually think Central Market is a better deal, by the way, but that's neither ici nor la. With regards to fingernails, two nights ago I was watching basketball - what? basketball? Oh, haven't I relayed this little epistle? No? Well the other day I was talking with the girl that tends bar in my village, and she told me that her dad has a satellite tv. We went over there. It turns out this TV pulls in about 250 channels. One of them is TNT, in English. We started watching some highlights and I started biting my nails. I bring this up because until then I'd actually stopped biting my fingernails. It's gross, especially in Africa. Plus, and yes, I'm comfortable enough to admit it, I wanted to impress my mom in Europe. I'm in my mid-twenties and this is one of the things I mark on my calendar: DON'T BITE NAILS. But, progress is progress. So I started biting them, and instead of stopping I just thought, you know, you can't really cut them, you don't know how and you don't even have the tools, just go for a little trim. Well, I wasn't exactly surgical and I didn't give them the precision they deserved. Now I'm back to square one. But other than that, I'm ready to go to Italy. I'll write an entry in the next couple of days, right now I'm going to track down an ice cream cart that owes me fifty francs. Ice cream cart? Oh yeah, didn't I tell you the story...