Thursday, April 10, 2008

April 10th

Big news: Once again I've got internet only 45 kilometers from my front door. It was out for a few months (sorry about the decline in entries), but now hopefully I'm back on track. I've forgotten the french keyboards already so for a few weeks I'll be pulling a Dad or Grant Davis (they type the same way, one finger hesitantly extended like a bomb dewiring device, poking one key at a time with all the swiftness of an ice age).

As far as village goes, everything is moving along. It has actually started to rain where I am, and it's not nearly as hot as it is in Ouaga or the North of the country. My tree project is going well. The goats are always eating the leaves, so it's slow because each tree needs a barrier, even if that means only some thorny branches thrown around in a haphazard circle. If you are interested in the Moringa tree, or bored at work, go to for some information.

This weekend I'm building a hangar to give my courtyard some much needed shade. I actually bought the "ceiling" (branches and grass) a while ago, but of course I haven't gotten around to it. A few days ago my neighbor told me that they'll spoil with the rain if I don't do something soon, so to make good on my 4 dollar investment I'll try to do it this weekend. I'll take a picture once it's done and try to get it on here.

I keep trying to buy a canari (sp?), but each week at my market they're too small. I'm talking about a terra cotta type vase that you surround with sand and fill up with water to make your water cold. Everyday between noon and 4 it is so hot that I'm drinking hot water. Not warm, hot. It's best to drink water right when you wake up in the morning. It's cold. Or cool.

If you're at all curious about Africa, I recommend Kapuscinski's Shadow of the Sun. It is the best book I've read on Africa since I've been here. Not only is his style the closest thing I've seen to great minimalist writing since Hemingway (Sorry Raymond Carver fans, I just don't buy it, not completely anyway), he lived and traveled throughout Africa for close to forty years. He was a Polish journalist and possible Soviet spy, and was present through most major coups and revolutions during the sixties and seventies. Now this shouldn't give you a false impression about what I live through day to day, but it is a great book on African social life, the countryside, and the "African" mentality, if there is one (Africa being so large and all - no one says there's an American mentality which includes everything between Canada and Patagonia). Most PC volunteers will recommend Dark Star Safari by Theroux, but I liked Kapuscinski a lot more.

I think that's about all for now. I'm mailing a bunch of letters this week, so start hovering around your mailboxes the middle of September. All my best, Clay


Rachel said...

Hi clay! glad to see you're back online and not near as pugnacious as you wre in Italy! Love you!

katie said...

What is mom talking about?! There wasn't a trace of pugnaciousism in you in Italy! ( I know I just made up a word.)

Phil! said...

Shadows of the Sun, is that the sequel to that awesome movie Tear of the Sun with Bruce Willis?