Missing in action

The prefect who came to open our alignment meeting told me it was his third opening of the day. I asked him what else was going on in town. There was a UNICEF meeting to teach the gendarmerie who to deal with kids that had committed (presumably petty) crimes. I was glad to hear. Apparently they treat these kids now in a way that isn’t very nice.

The second workshop he opened was about gender. He told me that men beat their wives and this was a bad thing (I agreed). A research study conducted in the surrounding countryside had revealed that some 42% of the men interviewed (he didn’t know the sample size) beat their wives regularly. “Why, I asked?” “It’s cultural,” was his response. To my astonishment he then added that 48% of the women wanted to be beaten by the husbands. “Why?” I asked again. “It’s cultural.” The percentages indicate that 6% of the women want to be beaten but aren’t. I would love to see this study.

In between my work I am chasing my second passport that, according to the DHL tracker, arrived at its destination (our Abidjan office) last Monday. Proof of this, also available on the internet is that a certain Mariama Coulibaly signed for it, even though the package wasn’t addressed to her. As it turns out there is no Mariama Coulibaly in our office and so we are wondering where my passport went and who this mysterious Mariama is. It is not a minor thing, losing one’s passport, as there is a thriving trade in American passports. On top of that, it contains my entry visa for my next stop, Addis, as the visa in the passport I traveled on sofar expired last Monday – the same day my second passport landed in Abidjan.

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