Saturday, November 29, 2008

More Photos Mostly from the North

porch view (up)
Roadtrip (down)

Thanksgiving (up)
Post-transport fatigue (down)

Donkey cart playing it safe at the stop sign (up)
Mac (down)

Becca, no one will love you if you continue to smile like that (up)
The Emaciated Cro-Magnon and the Infants: The Musical (down)

Out of coffee (up)
Coca-Cola bear (for the Christmas spirit) (down)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Photos from the North

The indirect route North to Dori. Dropped off the bus 85km from Tougouri at 11am. Harmattan winds were picking up and I had bags of water tied to the bike. Caught a cargo truck and hitched a ride on top of rice sacks after only 15km. A line of sand dividing the Sahel from the central plateau. Dori. Thanksgiving dinner last night. The best pork, chicken, mashed potatoes, salad, generic oreos, olives, brakina beer, stir fry, and rice with peanut sauce I've ever had. Woke up this morning to sand and more sand; the ocean is in hiding. Went to the market and picked up limes for tonight's beers and looked at blankets for Mom. Writing notes on the specifics of the trip, might be able to post them later. Rereading Faulkner, the short plays of Wallace Stevens, Invisible Man, and French copies of The Hulk. Happy birthday yesterday to Dad and Grant. Nan, happy belated birthday, I tried to get a text out but the solar panel in village isn't working too well. Happy Thanksgiving, love you, and I'll see you all in three weeks.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Sorry. Sous-verre translates to underglass, not undercup. Parisian French is like an ice carving on a cruise ship. My French is like the terrible, I mean beautiful, mask I picked up for Mom. Love you Mom! (Can't wait to get that thing displayed in the living room, or should we go for the dining room?)

Blog entry that was going to be HUGE but now is prolly petit b/c I still can't get any photos uploaded. Maybe I'll get some uploaded. I'll try.

Mwaa haa haa. Happy Halloween. That's from the catacombs in Paris. A sentence Matt and I liked from the sign: Until 1788, cartloads covered with black clothes, escorted by priests chanting the office for the dead, crossed Paris by night to deposit their remains.

(Not sure if pictures will work...trying...I may refer to pictures that aren't there, you'll have to pretend...also, haven't actually prepared anything for the blog, been too busy buying souvenirs at the SIAO festival. Mom, I picked up a 7 foot tall postmodern fertility mask that I think will look perfect in the living room. It's made out of recycled corrugated tin and hippo hair, and was EXPENSIVE. You have to display it. It can double as a cheese tray for large parties.)

Almost as scary, my lack of picture taking skills. Here's my cousin Matt in front of a bus. To be fair, we did have lunch reservations in the next arrondisement.

My view from my spot at a cafe.

The museum of Orsay, or musee d'Orsay if you're in the know.

Me. Or moi, if you're in the know.

The stained glass at Saint Chappelle looks like Tetris.

The first picture of Paris, still on the Metro steps. The Our Mother. Or Notre Dame (if you're in the know).

- Work -------------------------------------------------------
I've been waiting for the end of the rainy season to start my painting project. Next week (weather permitting) we're painting a world map at the elementary school.

Just finished giving out all of my moringa trees. I have another 50 seeds. I'll get them started soon.

English club at the middle/high school. Doing the same thing I did last year.

AIDS day. Coming up next month. Going to a village down the road for an awareness thing.

Soapmaking. We sold out. The lemon scent I paid a little extra for really made the difference. Buying two soccer balls for the school with the money we got and hopefully we can do it again.

Here's the courtyard I came back to in September after teaching English in Ouaga for five weeks.
Not a gardening project by the way, just the rainy season. Oh and I built both the wall and the hangar. Never used it though. Afraid it'll fall in on me.

Before I Forget: Yesterday on the way back from breakfast the cab driver couldn't find the gear. We're on the highway and the car is shaking so badly that the passenger door opens. A guy on the moto drives by as if on cue and pushes the door closed. Oh Burkina, sometimes we get along so well.

Last week I didn't feel so well. I woke up with a fever one night and had such bad chills that I first put on socks. Then more socks. Then gardening gloves. Then I took the laundry basket of dirty clothes and covered myself with the unwashed masses. Then up to grab a hat. Then back underneath the pile of dirty clothes. I woke up an hour later sweating like crazy and reversed all previous decisions.

25 - 0 - 08
Caddy held me and I could hear us all, and the darkness, and something I could smell. And then I could see the windows, where the trees were buzzing. Then the dark began to go in smooth, bright shapes, like it always does, even when Caddy says that I have been asleep. The Sound and The Fury

23 - 10 - 08
Early evening, rain falling down amber. The clouds are not thick, it cannot last long. Making curry and rice. Reading The Road again.

French phrase: J'ai rien a voir avec ca. I don't have anything to do with it.
French word: Ecraser. To crush. (Thanks to French editions of The Hulk I found in Paris)

New dish I make: beans. I can buy one cup cooked for 100 francs. I can buy ten cups uncooked for three hundred. And sorting out rocks and bugs by lamplight is good for my eyes.

Q: How much money do I have in my wallet right now?
A: 10,000 francs. 50 dirham. 30 cedi. 10 rands. 20 bucks. 5,000 francs is on the floor next to Mission Impossible 3 which I watched last night.

French word for coaster? Sous-verre. Literal translation of sous-verre? Undercup.

Last month marked the 50th anniversary of Updike's The Poorhouse Fair.

I'd like to thank the Catholic mission in Kampti for inviting me to their party a couple weekends ago. They were great hosts, and their English is excellent.

Picked up Crest toothpaste yesterday. Not gel, not foaming action whatever whitening blah. Just paste. Was afraid it'd be boring, but really liking it so far. Kinda like twenty years ago when Mom would only let Katie and I eat Honey Nut Cheerios instead of sugary cereals. After months and months HNC would get pretty lame, but sure enough, after waiting a week or so they'd be good again.

After reading that last paragraph I realize I have absolutely nothing to say. See you in 7 weeks. Clay LaPoint

p.s. I also bought Dove shampoo. It is terrible.