15 March – Kossouka, 7:21pm
Here in village, life is calm. I woke up and went over to the CSPS to wait for Simon, who came around 8:15. We biked over to the cheif's concession, and the meeting started around 8:30 – not bad for Africa time. There's a village meeting tomorrow (8am at the mairie, but they explicitly told me 8am Africa time, so I'll go at 9:30) to tell people about all these new projects that are going to happen. I didn't quite figure out who all is paying for them, but we'll get there. I made a small speech about working together, but I figure I'll talk to Simon tomorrow to see about finding a good counterpart when I return my library book. After the meeting ended an hour later I went back to the CSPS and started making a list of things I need to do to finish my Etude, most of which involve asking questions of my CSPS staff or Simon, and then typing the whole thing up and translating it into French.
After lunch, Moussa showed up and we rode out to the mango trees. I have found heaven on earth, and it is in Kossouka (well, Napalgue) under a mango tree. The shade was thick, the conversation with Moussa and another teacher was interesting (politics of BF and Cote d'Ivoire, where Moussa is from), and I got to listen to my iPod and finish the chapter on the future tense and even use it a few times in our conversation. There were cows wandering around and one was licking the ears of another – the one being bathed looked so happy, just like the kittens when they're cleaning each other! It was adorable. It's maybe 1k from my house, so I'll absolutely be going back, and maybe find a way to take the kittens with me. Very relaxing and calm.
After I came home around 3:30 I got a bidon of water and sat with Sali at the maternity while she studied for her concours and I read my French children's book. Chatted briefly with Ilias, but he was the one to end the conversation tonight! What? Left around 6pm and came home to set up my tent and shower. Sitting outside under the half moon with two adorable kittens – life is good. I'm so glad that no matter what happens during my day, they almost always end happily in the calm of my courtyard.
NB – I've been here for 154 days. Only 650 days (give or take) left to go. Weird - I don't really know how I feel about it.