Thirteen days

In thirteen days I'll be on a plane back to mmm-BELLY-may land.  I'll land nearby three days later, sleep, and then drive another day to get back to my little house.

This is what I'll drive.  The truck, not the camels.  I smelled too bad after I rode the camel.


Where am I?

FlyngWow, is it nice to blog from the land of high speed internet!  Yes indeed, I am back in the States for a few months.  My sister has her hands full having babies and stuff, so I’m here to keep an eye on our parents until she gets all that giving birth stuff done.  You know, so they don’t throw wild parties and stay out until all hours and stuff.

I usually say "our aging parents," but not any more.  Dad is 85, Mom is 81-they’re not aging, they’ve aged! 

So, I’m home, but I have a backlog of things that I want to blog about from my life in Africa, even though I’m living it long distance for a little while.  Thanks to modern technology, I’m also still going to be working on mmm-BELLY-may stories and language learning while I’m here.  So, I won’t write too many odes to the wondrous things available at Target or the glory of not being sweaty, but will try to catch up on all the posts I’ve written in my head in the past few months.  Who knows, maybe I’ll be caught up before I go back!


I tried to siphon diesel yesterday.  No, no, there’s no illegal activity going on-I just have a little stock of diesel in case there is a shortage, which happens from time to time.

Usually when I have it poured into my truck, lots of it spills down the side, which is wasteful and filthy, since diesel has lots of oil in it.  The red dust from the road sticks to the spilled diesel, it’s nice.

So, when I read this idea about siphoning fuel without swallowing it, I thought it would be great!

The article said I should:

elevate the container
submerge the entire length of the hose in the fuel,
put my thumb over the end of the hose,
put the other end of the hose in my gas tank,
and then the diesel would flow nicely out.

I of course decide that this will be accomplished best by:

pouring 20 liters of diesel into a large basin,
making a wobbly stand for said basin,
getting three friends to hold the basin so it didn’t tip,
sticking my arms in the diesel up to my elbows to submerge the hose,
discovering that the hose is too big for me to close it with my thumb,
getting another hose,
spilling diesel on the ground pulling the first hose out,
sticking my arms BACK in the diesel…

and then it didn’t work.

So I tried again 3 times.  Up to my elbows every time. 

Never did work.

But the truck did indeed stay clean.

We ended up going back to the big hose, sticking a funnel in one end of it and standing on a ladder to be up high enough to scoop the diesel into the funnel with a bowl.  I did not think this was funny until late that evening, otherwise there would be photo evidence.

Don’t try this at home, and don’t light a match anywhere near me.

Exit rows are located…

Airline I just gave 4 of my friends a ride into town.  Doing my seatbelt demonstration, I felt like I was working for an airline.  "You hold this plastic part, pull the belt across your body, and then stick the metal part in there where it’s red, like this…"  complete with gestures and a demonstration.  All I needed were oxygen masks and life preservers under the seats. 


After a few truly fun days of travel : ) I am back in West Africa.  Not home yet, I’ll be running around for another couple of weeks doing training stuff. Even though traveling isn’t fun for me anymore, meeting people still is.  In France I stayed with friends of a friend-whose daughter is coming here to film a documentary!  It’s not where I live, but where I fly in and out of, and I’ll be here when she is.  Great coincidence!  She’s never been to W. Africa, and is a little nervous about coming.  I was able to give her some local currency, my phone number, and I’ll be a friendly face once my flight gets in.  Too cool!

Then in the shuttle on the way to the airport, (which was late, grrrrr), there were three fun people to chat with-from Texas!  Let’s all join hands and sing "It’s a small world."  It was a fun way for me to spend my last bit of time in Europe.  And I made my flight, hope they did too!

Here’s the best thing, though.  I’m still in the city I fly in and out of, not the country where I live, where I know very few people.  Doing an errand for a colleague, though, I made a GREAT connection this morning-a consultant who has already done what I’m going to do in the next few years, and who is excited about sharing her experience and suggestions with me!  And, her husband has produced tons of stuff in the language they worked in-one that’s related to mmm-BELLY-may!  When I fly through here again in a few weeks, I’m going to have all afternoon to get ideas and pick their brains.  And tonight, we’re not going to work, but we are going to have fondue!  Did I mention I LOVE meeting Swiss people?  That’s another great chance meeting-I met a person at the immigration desk who’s staying at the same guest house as me here, and he gave me (and my two enormous foot lockers) a ride last night!  He even hauled the foot lockers to my truck for me!  He’s the one having people over for fondue.

It’s a small, small world…