Books read: 6
Baby rats found living in a cabinent in my hut: 4
Adult rats caught in a glue trap placed on top of my other cabinent: 1
Times I had to drop an ax head onto said rat to kill it: 2
Donkey carcasses seen on the side of the road: 2
Rides hitched to Missirah in the back of a bread truck: 1
American visitors to my village: 5
Price of a kilo of mangos, in cfa: 200
Equivalent price, in cents: 40
The rats: Dropping the ax on that poor guy was traumatic for both of us. I had to do it twice because I was outside at night, the rat and the cardboard he was stuck to on the ground, and I still had to turn off my flashlight and count to three before I could get myself to drop the ax. All I could bring myself to do with the babies was toss them over the back fence, apologizing all the while. I had rodents as pets, dammit. And now it’s a bit strange to walk into my hut and not hear frantic scurrying up the back of a cabinent or out the top of my roof.
Hitchhiking: Don’t worry, Mama, I plan to only get rides from strange men when I’m traveling with someone else (Cory was with me; we sat on boxes of instant yeast). Or if I’ve been waiting for a bus for over two hours. Or maybe if it’s raining.
Mangos: You folks back in America may have air-conditioning, cable TV, microwave dinners—hell, you might very well be reading this on your PowerBook over a wireless internet connection, sitting outside in beautiful spring weather, eating a slice of cold cheesecake and sipping a raspberry mocha latte.
I get fresh mangos for 40 cents a kilo.
Who’s laughing now, hunh?!
That’s what I thought. Raspberry mocha latte hurts when it goes up your nose, doesn’t it?