Raising the bar

Assignment two of the four is completed and I am halfway through. We have been wading through ambiguity, confusion and some angst and have come out a little wiser and clearer. The people from the ministry and my MSH colleagues have now a better sense of what this LDP+ things is and are about to take on real assignments as opposed to the practicum sessions we did all day yesterday.

We went from a baseline, taken on Monday morning, with nothing more than a 1.5s on a 10 point scale and ended with a few 6s and 7s. I think that may have been a bit overconfident but it is a move in the right direction. It’s the confidence that counts now as it allows for trying. Mastery will come later.

We drove back late in the afternoon to Abidjan listening to American Country music on the request of my fellow passenger who is learning English that way. “I hope you are happy baby after what you’ve put me through,’ accompanied the view of ramshackle houses and eating places and a thousand skinny palm trees. The trip that took just over 30 minutes in the other direction took about 2 hours this time and would probably have taken longer if it had been raining, which it did a lot yesterday.

Tomorrow is a holiday, as it is in most of the world. This is a much wanted break from being on all the time. It is what happens when you travel alone. But it’s not a day of rest for me as I have to complete the revision of the French documents that we will be using from tomorrow on. It is the most tedious and stressful work for me – checking words on pages – as it requires a particular set of neural connections in my brain that is not well developed, weak or simply obstructionist.

The hotel in Abidjan didn’t know I was coming and my travel documents turned out to be incomplete and dated wrongly. There were rooms, but what rate to give me when USAID was not on the list? It is rather amazing to see the price range for one single room depending on who you work for.

The rooms on the ‘view’ side are more expensive than the ones on the other side that look at the Plateau’s other buildings. I splurged and took a room with a view. The first things that you see is a gas station and then something that looks like a hangar with Coco Cola painted all over it. But then the view gets nice as I look out over Abidjan’s Lagon with its palm trees and interesting architecture across the water.

I had a beer in a bar full of overweight expat business men, most watching a football (soccer) game and cheering loudly when good things happened. Since nothing on the menu caught my eye I picked the buffet which left me, as these always do, stuffed and bloated. I will be smarter tomorrow. Bedtime 9 PM.

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