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A Weekend in Dassa

So this weekend, the Italian is in town to visit me and say goodbye to our co-workers. Friday night we headed to Amadou’s house just before dusk and played with his super cute four year old daughter Fatima who speaks French in the cutest little voice, unlike most four year olds around here who only speak Fon (the local language). After an hour or so, our other three co-workers (Christine, Aline and Saturnin) came and we all had dinner. Since Amadou doesn’t have electricity, we used a oil burning lamp to enjoy dinner. Dinner, prepared by his wife was pate (grounded maize with water which makes a substance slightly thicker than Cream of Wheat). I am not a fan so I opted for a CocaCola and a little bit of the vegetables on the Italian’s plate. We had a good time laughing and eating and reminiscing about all the crazy things that have happened since we arrived here. I was feeling very nostalgic as sitting in this rural part of town reminded me of nights in my mother’s village in Uganda.

Today, early in the morning, I went to inquire about my laundry which I have been requesting to have washed for the last two weeks. Of course they were still dirty, which was very annoying. The nun that I left them with look just as shocked as me but didn’t have a solution, as the ONLY person that knows how to operate the washing machine was not here today. I asked if someone could simply wash them by hand but she said everyone was occupied. 🙁 So hopefully I will have my clothes washed before I leave this week. More on that in another post!

I spent the morning trying to pack my suitcases so that the Italian could take them back to Cotonou with him. As I weighed my luggage with my handy dandy personal luggage scale, I realized that not only would I be overweight, but I need to check three bags but I now can only check two. In 2010 I enjoyed my Silver Medallion passenger status on all Sky Team partners (Delta and others), but tragically I missed this year’s qualification by less than 2300 miles. Had I made the trip to Uganda for Christmas I would have made it. While most of you will think this is no big deal, for me it is because I was allowed to check THREE free bags on domestic and international flights. That extra bag usually makes the difference. Needless to say since the qualification only expired in February I will be crying and begging the dear people at the Air France counter in Cotonou to let me check my third bag free since it came with me free when I arrived. (Cross your fingers for me)

For lunch we went to our usual restaurant and ate our usual food (rice, chicken, plantains with tomato sauce). When the owner saw us arrive she sent someone to fry some plantains because she knows we love them and she had just run out. :-). Today for the first time, at her urging, I tasted a guava. I love guava juice but never tasted the fruit. Very yummy. It actually tastes a bit appley.

Tonight we headed to Christine’s house as she would not be outdone by Amadou. I went armed with Phase 10 and although I have taught to many people who speak many language that are not mine I have never come across someone who didn’t pick up the game. Today, not one but two of my co-workers failed to understand the game. 🙁 Once the sun went down we stopped playing because unlike yesterday we didn’t have a lamp. We ate dinner outside with a little illumination from the light indoor. Dinner was yummy, a mixture of couscous, pasta, an egg and tomato sauce. I spent most of my time trying to by the love of Christine’s two year old son Tobi, with candies from home. It worked. I finally got a kiss out of him.

After dinner we described to them what being on a plane was like. They couldn’t believe they feed you two meals and give you drinks. I think the most unbelievable part was that we slept on the plane. Amadou was adamantly against it. There were questions of using cell phones in the air and the all important where do you use the bathroom. Overall it was an awesome evening to close out the Italian’s visit.

The elections are tomorrow so we are unsure if the Italian will be able to find a way back to Cotonou. *crosses fingers*

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