The team I helped to set on its leadership development course less than 2 months ago in Cote d’Ivoire is doing the second workshop in the series of 4 on its own. I am in frequent contact with the team and marvel at their enthusiasm. Despite being in a place with poor internet connections, they insisted I be part of the workshop.

After trying various ways to connect we finally settled on Skype and I found myself live in the workshop, presumably projected on a screen and with my voice amplified. It is weird to be in a workshop and yet not – they could see me but I was looking at my own video picture – remembering to look at the camera on top of my screen rather than the screen itself. I received the beloved West African clap (someone hollers ‘triplet’ which is followed by three small claps and one thunderous one with hands pushing the clap to the object of the clap) – twice even. I received them with a smile, knowing I was on camera. I am awed, amazed and honored by the way this community has boarded the leadership train.

I left work early to enjoy Lobster Cove on another beautiful summer day, before heading out into the steamy Sahel on Friday. Axel had not checked the lobster traps yet, which he had baited with the remains of the 40 pound striper. His 12 foot dory isn’t quite made for two adults and hauling in lobster pots– he usually does the lobstering on his own – but I decided to be his lobstering mate, more ballast than help. The ocean was choppy with big swells, which made for good exercise for Axel the rower. His months of exercise at the gym are paying off. It felt great to be out on the water and I counted my blessings – what a place to come home to.

Four of the five traps contained only undersize lobsters which we threw back to grow some more, replacing the two day old striper bait with freshly caught and still bloody herring. Wondering what we would have for dinner we hauled in the last trap which contained it: 3 lobsters, two of them a pound and a half. It is the time of the year when lobster start to molt, shedding their old hard shell and growing a new one that is soft for a while. For this they come in closer to shore.

One of the large lobsters still had a very hard shell, which required a hammer to open; the other large one had just molted and thus had a very soft shell. It splashed liquid all over me after it was cooked. We didn’t touch the third one yet; it is neither hard nor soft.

The perfect day was completed with a massage by our friend Abi who worked hard on my sore foot – the healing process of my ankle seems to have stopped for a while, even made a turn for worse. I have picked up my PT exercises again which seems to help a bit. I was told by the orthopede’s assistant that it is not unusual for such regressions, what with the other joints and muscles having to work harder with the main joint being fused. It may be the equivalent of a strike, a protest against the extra work.

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July 2014
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