Sunday, May 25, 2008


Hope everyone's well. I don't have anything planned to write today, and this air conditioning is making me sleepy, but I wanted to post some pictures of my kids writing letters to their new penpals back in Tejas. Also there's a picture of two goats standing in the shade of my outdoor kitchen.
This weekend was pretty sweet. I headed up North to visit Lauren. We were in her house, playing Boggle, and I looked at the shaded thermometer by the door: 107. And it wasn't a hot day. The mercury in the thermo was cheering me on, but Boggle is no Scrabble, and I lost over and over again.
Nanny sent me an electric toothbrush. I use it every morning and night, but only when my neighbors are playing music. I can't let them hear me revving up or else they start asking questions I can't answer. Why do you need an electric toothbrush? Actually, I don't know. Now leave me alone so I can finish my ablutions. I don't mind the company, just the staring.
The rain is still coming down in Kampti. Every night a group of frogs moves on to my patio and huddles in with the moringa trees. They sing songs that I like hearing.
Don't have any book reviews. Been writing a lot though. Grant just sent me his ideas for our idea.
Work is rewarding. This summer I'm going to help out at the medical center. Weighing babies, taking temperatures, etc, and learning a bit. Health and education go hand in hand. Unless you want to be a poor, dirtbag writer, you can't have one without the other.
Two weeks shy of a year in Africa. Maybe I'll do a huge one year anniversary blog when I'm in Ouaga next for Becca's birthday party(June 6thish). You're invited to her party.
Learning some Dioulla from my neighbors. Right now I can say Anye Sohoma and Nya. That's it. It doesn't matter what they mean, just say them and you'll agree with me that it's the most beautiful language.
Had a dream a few nights ago where I was a character in Kafka's short stories. It was a lot of sitting in cafes. Lauren had some Bukowski, forgot how good he could be.
Drinking a lot of bissap in village. It tastes and looks like cranberry juice, and you can buy it frozen so that it melts throughout the hot day.
Just watched The Office for the first time in almost a year. Remembered what I've been missing.
Thinking about a short summer vacation to Niamey for a few days to check out the last giraffes in West Africa. I only have a few days left, as Aunt Gail just got me tickets to Paris for a week, and Dad is bringing me home for Christmas. Can't thank them enough.
Just got an account at my local bank in village. It feels pretty cool, and they are nice to me and give me small bills instead of 10,000 franc notes that I can't break. Also, the census guy came by and marked me down for Kampti. He knocked on my door while I was eating dinner, so I gave him a bite of curried mac and cheese. The next day I saw him at the market, and he made me some tea. The world population is now over by one person, as I'm marked in Pflugerville and Kampti. Please alert the proper authorities.
Mary, for the penpal program, I'm going to give a few of the cards I have left to some kids that live in the North. I want your class to get a complete idea of Burkina, since it is such a crossroads of West Africa. A two hour drive away from my village looks a lot different than mine, and I want you to see and learn about as many areas as you're interested in. And the French practice will be great, for my kids and yours. And me too. Also, I talked to a computer guy who can help me put together a website, so now I just have to remember to take my camera around and take some photos to get it ready for next school year.
All my best, love, Clay


Mary B said...

Great pictures Clay! I'll share them with my kids this week. We have 4 days of school left, so you are just in time! I look forward to penpalling around with your kids next year. Let me know if there is anything I can help with the website. Next time we write, I'll send some photos of my kids with their letters so your kids can see their faces. This is going to be an enriching experience for my kids - thanks!

Rachel said...

Are those the famous marenga trees by the goats? If so, they are doing well!

katie said...

You forgot to thank your mommmy for sending you home too!

Good blog, I loved the pictures... Hint Hint...