Waiting for nothing

My colleague R was correct; we arrived exactly at 6 PM at the hotel in Man. The roads were pretty good except for some 20 km where the driver was zigzagging across the road trying to avoid holes in the tarmac. Luckily there was not much traffic on the road and the zigzagging was possible. These roads are not wide and large trucks can take up more than half.

We had lunch in Yamoussoukrou in a maquis, a small roadside restaurant serving traditional fare for very little money. Yamoussoukrou is famous for its enormous basilica that is visible from far and stands in sharp contrast to its simple and chaotic surroundings. Nearby is the family compound of the former president Houphouet. It is enormous and reminds me of the palaces of Chinese emperors; surrounded by 4 meter high walls that are interrupted on each side by enormous gates, it looks unassailable.

The whole team that I trained more than a year ago is now assembled to continue its cascade training. Enthusiasm is high and everyone is very confident. They are going to run the show – my contribution is the design and serving as a coach on the sidelines. It is now entirely their game.

Man is located in a beautiful hilly part of the country that could be like the foothills in Switzerland. We drove past hills that look like enormous boulders sprinkled across the otherwise flat land. The hotel is located on a hill and every room has great views. Everything is clean but the black spores of mildew are everywhere. My cough, though never completely gone, returned during the night and my voice is affected again. The octave test showed I am regressing.

There is no internet in the rooms and the dangle I was giving is from the wrong company, one that doesn’t work here. This may be a problem. On the one hand being out of reach of emails is appealing; on the other hand there is work to be done after hours that requires an internet connection. Thanks to a mysterious little box that my colleague  R has I can leach off her internet connection and post this while it is still hot.

I watched the news and wished I could connect to my sister in Brussels to find out what it is like to wait for nothing to happen. It seems a big dilemma – you want something to happen so you can stop waiting while you don’t want something to happen because people will get hurt. How long can one close down a whole city?

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November 2015
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