Wednesday, November 7, 2012

beneath the wide blue empty sky

A week ago sunday was the last rain of the year in Nampoch.  Until it rained again the other day.

Rain right now is bad because the cotton is budding and corn is drying.  Rain knocks off cotton blossoms and rots cornstalks still in the fields.  If the corn hasnt been harvested yet, ears that fall on wet ground sprout and are thus useless.  Bt corn hasnt made it to Africa yet.  People shake their heads every time it rains now because it screws with their harvest. 

But, on days when it doesnt rain, the sky is usually empty like it is in harmattan and hot season.  It is this bowl that stretches forever.  Infinity looks like a wide blue empty sky. 

Rain now is such a weird contrast to everything else that is going on.  Trees are losing leaves.  Well some of them.  Mango trees are putting out new leaves.  But the undergrowth is dying off.  The seas of shoulder-high grass are changing from green to brown.  You can see the ground in my garden again.

Djiddah is finally getting better.  she's walking around and smiling again.  its scary how much weight, relatively speaking, that she lost.  i had to find her this one kind of medicine that is used to treat meningitis and autoimmune disorders in cancer patients .

Yesterday Petit and i were getting a calabash for Obama's eventual victory-- Petit was confident that he would win-- when a couple guys walked up.  One guy was like "american!  whats up with the election?  Romney and Obama are each at like 48% although some polls say that Obama is up by 3 points."  Togolese know as much about the election as i do.  This morning i was in at the poste and they started asking me about it.  The postmaster and i got in this discussion about why Romney didnt win.  He is of the opinion that Ryan could have beaten Obama because he is more fiscally solid and more likeable than Romney.  Its kind of humbling how closely people follow US politics when, at one point in my adult life, I could not have named one West African leader.

Petit is one of my favorite people in Togo.  he's in his early forties i think.  in many ways he's kind of a stereotypical farmer-- somewhat conservative, laid back, polite, even tempered, complains a lot about the weather.  he's one of the most easy going people i know. he likes a good joke. on fridays, when my host mom sells tchakpa, if i am gone, he drunk dials me to find out how Im doing.  one thing Petit is not very conservative about though is education.  yesterday he and i were talking about how this one woman is going to Kouka to be like an apprentice-secretary.  Petit was like "yeah, i wish that my daughters could do something like that but you need (the equivalent of your GED)."  I've always wondered why he is so adamant about all of his kids getting a good education when girls education is a problem in our area.  I started asking him about school and he said that he only made it through the equivalent of junior high because he didnt have anyone to support him.  it is interesting how some people strive for a better life and a better world for their children. 

I think its kind of funny what makes me happy these days.  stuff like getting new books for my nook. getting Angry Birds for my nook, a package of granola bars from my mom (food that i dont have to make/sterilize/kill/deep fry/chase/think about is so amazing). finding someone selling peanuts.

speaking of my nook, i find myself using my laptop as a nook charger these day. i love the thing but i wish it had more battery life . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment