Next assignment

For the fourth time I packed my suitcase to move out of one and into another hotel.  Yesterday morning, after the morning reflection, I handed my facilitator baton (a marker) to my colleague from DC to wrap things up and said my goodbyes to our team in South Africa and wished them well as they head into the last leg of their project.

Driver Aaron who I have known for some 5 years – we hug when he drops me off, that kind of friendship – told me about the Cradle of Mankind when we drove past the big mount that houses the skeletons and bones of our earliest ancestors. We talked for a while about that ancient history and how some of these people made their way as far as Australia and started settlements along the way. It is endlessly fascinating and I was sorry not to have visited there. Aaron is a tour guide (and a minister) in his spare time and I told him one day I would have him take me there.

It took 14 hours from door. I left under beautiful skies and arrived in a very wet Abidjan, which was completely gridlocked (traffic wise). It took the driver 2 hours to get from the office to the airport. This is ordinarily a 20 to 30 minute drive. I have been in these jams before on these very same roads. Some of the side roads were rivers. A gaggle of policemen were trying to straighten things out but one was hit by a car. They were completely powerless against the drive of ‘me-me-me,’ which in traffic situations is that everyone forces his or her way across traffic streams (wet or dry). I was too tired and still a little benadryled from the cough syrup, so I didn’t care.

South Africa, or at least Gauteng Province finally got the rain it so badly needed, though not enough and too much at the same time. Abidjan, according to my driver, is getting rain when it should be done with rain. I am so glad that I have a profession that doesn’t depend on rain, but we should all be worried if the people who grow our food, don’t get enough or too much of it.

I am once again in an Ibis hotel but this one isn’t as nice as the one in Tana. Not only is it poorly maintained with a yucky carpet on the floor, the room is about one fifth of the size of my previous hotel room in Magaliesberg in South Africa (and one sixth of the one in Jo’burg). Here, when I pivot from a central position in both bathroom and bedroom I can get to almost every part of the room without moving, just stretching out my arms. In those other two hotel rooms, I could have put up my whole family, including grandchildren .

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