Christmas in Tamba was very satisfying, if lacking in the traditional surrounded-by-wrapping-paper-carnage, snoozing-on-the-couch-watching-football, post-fourth-helping-of-dinner American holiday afterglow.
Josh and Cory and I hit the market in the morning to get dinner ingredients, snoozed and read during the day, and then cooked in the afternoon with a small group—we had a potluck dinner, with chili, stuffing, mashed potatoes, fruit salad, deviled eggs, and two kinds of cookies for dessert.
I’ll be lazing around Tamba today, hoping my stomach decides to calm back down to normal so I can appreciate the cake Josh is rumored to be baking this afternoon.
Village life is still good, though, despite my discovery on Christmas Eve that 18,000 or 20,000 cfa (about $40) had been stolen from my wallet while it was in my hut—most likely when I forgot to close and lock my door when I went to visit another family for about half an hour Wednesday. Granted, it’s partly my own damn fault for being naive enough to think that, in the village at least, an open door wouldn’t be taken as an open invitation to rob me, but it’s still kinda depressing.
My family was completely horrified when I told them, but I doubt that I’ll see the money again. It wasn’t necessarily someone in my family who took it—there are random villagers and some construction workers from Tamba passing through—but, yeah, all the same. I’ll be religiously locking cabinents and doors from here on out.
Anyway, tomorrow the village chief and the religious leader, the heads of my village’s well project, are supposed to be meeting me here in town to go see the government contractor about last year’s well-digging estimate. If we manage to get that done tomorrow, I’ll be able to resubmit their grant proposal, and ideally the well could be dug before the rainy season arrives in June. That would not only be great for the village (a backup supply of water and the ability to do a dry-season garden this time next year), but it would also make me feel a bit less useless than I often do these days.
I hope all of you are having enjoyable (over-fed, cold-weather, family-filled) holidays. Happy New Year, I’ll be celebrating it in my village