Friday, March 23, 2012

climate changes happens in Africa too

Bry is sitting on her couch eating mini chocolate eggs out of the package with a spoon.

One thing I miss the most about Spain is sleeping under sheets and a blanket. There is something nice about crawling under a bunch of blankets, getting warm, curling up, and
going to sleep. Here, I worry about getting tangled up in my sweat soaked sheet and drowning.

Ningya is my new cat. She is Nigarmi’s mother. She was Karen’s cat but Karen’s plan for bringing her back to the States fell through. Ningya showed her appreciation for me by leaving a mouse head on the floor where I could step on it this morning.

I just finished that latest book by George RR Martin. Seriously, if he’s going to kill off so many characters, he needs to crank out books faster so I can keep track of all the new people he comes up with. Speaking of which, the novelty of killing people has worn off. Now its just tedious.

The weather is weird. Even the Togolese say so. Its like harmattan—there is this perpetual haze and, if I tilt my head just right and squint, it sometimes looks like there is snow blowing past the trees. The dust is there, but the harmattan chill is not. It cools down at night, but the air just stops. There is no breeze.

Walk with me outside, dear reader, at about 1 pm (1300). The sun is shining, the birds are singing. Then a breeze kicks up over a patch of open ground and you feel the heat on your eyeballs—a dry heat that sucks the water out of you so fast that you do not have time to sweat much. This is nice because then not so much dust cakes to your face. People ask you, if you dear reader, are me, how you can stand to wear jeans/khakis, and a long sleeved dress shirt that looks like a Goodwill reject. You reply that you want as much light weight cotton between your pearly white skin and the sun as possible. Hot cotton feels better than sunburn. Bedouin have the right idea. Another breeze skitters along like the heat burns its feet. This particular taste of dust is laced with this elusive hint of lilacs. A smell that brings to mind cool, dew-kissed mornings or deep gardens hung with shadows. Some bush enjoying brief renaissance offered by the two rainstorms of last month perhaps? Some shrub giving the sun the proverbial bird while spewing forth tender green leaves and blossoms? Some sun-inspired hallucination in one American’s head? It is, gentle reader, one of life’s many, fleeting mysteries as you trudge up the hill, through a gauntlet of children gleefully shrieking “yovo yovo Anasara bon soir” in their own midday revelry, and into another dusty afternoon.

I had a new window installed in my bedroom while I was in Spain. I have airflow now! It feels like a whole new house.

That was the nice thing about getting back from Spain. Actually, all of it was nice, up until I noticed that mice apparently held a laxative-laced orgy inside my gaurde-mange (cupboard-esque thing). One mouse apparently got really excited when he found himself in my clothes too. I hope I stepped on his head this morning.

There was a death in my neighbor’s house last week. This old guy got up one day, and did his usual thing. He hung out with people, ate, went to the field, came back, hung out with people, showered, ate, and went to sleep. And 16 hours later they were shoveling dirt in his grave. No one thought they’d be digging a grave that day.

On a more trivial note, I come to Africa and Peyton Manning is a Bronco. That’s the nice thing about life. Its full of surprises.

The thing, I remembered, that I dislike the most about hot season is that you can’t sleep. I am a sound sleeper, I usually do not wake up to dishes clanking, babies/goats screaming, chickens crowing, staticy radios blasting, people yelling, fufu bats pounding, moto horns bleating, or my host sisters arguing. Unless its hot season. I wake up probably three times a night to find a dry spot in my bed that I can move to. My pillow is always soaked in the morning—on both sides. The only way I can get a full night’s sleep is to drug myself with benedryl and chug coffee the next day.

Hey Karen—as I write this Barchisou is yelling at Bahrara “are you mad?!”

One thing that I still miss about the US is the ease of feeding myself. Cooking is tiring, hot, and requires too much thinking sometimes. I do not say that I would do this every day here, but there definitely times where a stack of Clif Bars and a bag of beef jerky would be like a taste of paradise (feel free to read this is a shameless plug if you want to).

I think that I have, on average, eaten 2 eggs a day for the past 365 days. Thats 730 eggs.


  1. Hi!
    My name's Rosie Borchert and I'm part of AND Productions Web Development team. We're working on a networking site where we'd highlight various individuals across the globe who have amazing stories of volunteer work/daily life/hard work through photos, blogs, and video. We'd love to speak with you further about being a correspondent for us. I hops all is well and I look forward to hearing from you.
    Rosie Borchert

  2. Daniel,

    Great blog. Love reading your entries, and I felt like I was back there for a second. Give Nighin a kiss for me. Seriously, do it...