mercredi 18 juin 2008

Props to MEP

Props to world traveler extraordinaire MARY ELIZABETH PRITCHARD!

No worries friends and family - MEP is safe and well (for the moment). She arrived about a week ago at the humorously dilapidated Ouaga Airport. Use your imagination and all your pre-existing mental images from movies about what an african airport might look like and voila! There aren't terminals - everything is done on/off the tarmac. There are only three rooms. The middle one is baggage claim where the jolting rubber conveyor is buffered on the sides by old used tires. The noises it makes inspire every confidence that your bag has been eaten and shredded by whatever is making that sound if not just lost in somewhere in the International Airport of Addis Ababa.

Out in the arrivals area outside the airport i was nervously awaiting MEP's arrival. Excitement, nervousness, and one generous white russian all mixed together had my synaptic celfts firing furiously (or at least it felt that way. what with the vodka and all my nervous system was taking its sweet time). Anyways . . . i was freakin excited. And there she was - I saw this little person pop up above the crowd searching for my face. There were gasps on either side of the dividing people and them she bursts out from behind the divide and it's true MEP actually came to africa. I couldn't believe she was there. Someone from my previous life made it into this one. There were some teary eyes and lots of hugs and squeling. I think it freaked the africans and europeans out. I have never been so overjoyed in my life. To see a friendly face like that after a year - someone you have already done all the work with, who knows you, and accpeted you a long time ago . . . well, i just didn't realize how much i missed all of you. I could feel the absence from my sinuses to my gut to the arches of my feet. All of that represented in this little messenger MEP. It's like wearing spandex all day long and then you get home and put on your favorite sweat pants . . . sweet reflief. Don't be sad Mom. It'll be ten times more intense when i see you in a couple days. YAY!!!!!!!

So I took MEP to a bar and we got kinda drunk. Ok . . . pretty drunk. It's the best way to get someone used to the time change and erase all that discomfort of air travel. We stayed in Ouaga a couple days and ate good food. Then we moved to my village for 5 nights. Poor MEP . . . i'll let her describe it all in her guest blog that she will be posting . . . but she discovered the freakish amounts of flies that exist (much to her displeasure). She did laundry by hand, dishes by hand, ate To, used a latrine, bucket bathed, ate with her hands etc. I told her that it gets hotter at night. The sun goes down and the thermomeer goes up - she didn't believe me but found out soon enough for herself. We went to the market.

After 5 days though we needed to get moving. So we headed to see the elephants. They were spectacular!!!! Or at least they would have been had we seen any. I don't want to talk about it.

After that we went to Bobo-Diolousso which is wayyyy cute - you know, if Burkina were Arkansas, Bobo is the Eureka Springs of Burkina. Sadly, MEP got one of those 24 diarrhea/vomit bugs and we spent most of it in our room. Which is fine cause it rained anyway. I got over-confident and let her eat raw vegetables. oops. She's fine now no worries and no more raw veggies.

Next, it's off to Ghana!!!! So, that's it for now. I just wanted concerned parties to know that we are alive and having a grand time.