Monday, February 25, 2008

Saturday’s festivities went well. Much fun was had. I will mercifully spare you the details.

I am happily posting this from my HOME! Yes, I once again have internet and can both receive and (get this!) SEND e-mails again!! What fun! The only problem is that I suspect that many messages sent to me over the last week and a half have been lost. If you have been trying to contact me and had a message bounced last week, try again. Should work now.

Part III: In which an Elegant Event is Attended and a Trip Begins, Badly.

Well, the twins enjoyed the show and then hanging out with their friends afterwards. But by noon, we were home, having lunch, getting ready for the second half of the day. The twins had been invited to the birthday party of EC and R. They are b/g twins that are in their classes at school. The girls have played with EC (the girl) a few times at her home in the chic, uber-rich neighbourhood of Ouaga 2000. Mal informed me after one visit that at EC’s house “they have the air-conditioning on all the time! Even when they aren’t in the room!” – very unlike our home, where every hour that the roaring machines are on is carefully weighed against the eventual electrical bill to be received.

EC and her twin brother were turning 10 and to celebrate, their parents rented the restaurant at the most elegant and expensive hotel in all of Burkina. It is scarily inappropriate. ( I blogged about it here) The girls needed to be driven out to this hotel in Ouaga 2000- about a half and hour trip one-way. I had arranged a carpool with another mom, so that was great. The girls went off and I stayed home writing a bit and then rehearsing some songs. But very soon it was 5:30 and time to trek out to the Hotel Libya. Valentine went along, just out of curiosity, and it was worth the trip. When we got to the huge, elegant hotel restaurant, we found all the kids dressed in matching t-shirts that had been specially printed for the event. They were dancing to music played by a DJ . The buffet included a full meal and other kid-delights such as tiny little pastries and a chocolate fondue with marshmallows to dip. Very chic.

The Master of Ceremonies had just finished holding the “Miss Birthday Party” pageant. When the twins told me about it later, it sounded disturbing. The girls had all paraded around the room like it was a beauty contest. After a “clap for your favourite” vote, the MC declared that EC (of course) was Miss Birthday Party. My twins, of course, didn’t know what was so completely unacceptable about the entire idea of a beauty pageant. What they were stewing about was the fact that Alexa hadn’t been declared the winner.

“Everybody in the class says that she’s the prettiest and everybody clapped the most for her during the voting!” Mal proclaimed indignantly.

IMHO, the whole idea was completely creepy.
My kids once saw the film “Miss Congeniality” – that is the extent of their contact with beauty pageants. So, I haven’t really been inspired to give lectures on the evils of them. They were a non-issue, an antiquated institution, almost dead. I had heard that the last “Miss America” pageant had to be aired in the USA on the Country Music Channel, because no other station wanted it.
All this in mind, on the drive home we discussed the general dopiness of pageants and I explained that the contest had been fixed, anyway. The MC wasn’t going to ruin EC’s happy birthday fête by choosing another little girl to be the winner, no matter who actually got the most applause and wasn’t the whole thing just a bad, bad idea, destined to leave lots of people unhappy for absolutely no good reason?

The drive home took half an hour, so we got back at 7:40- which just gave me time to run in, get some cold pizza out of the fridge and load up Sev and his pal D., who were at the house playing computer games. We headed right over to Saturday night worship service, the kids downing the cold pizza as I drove. We got there with five minutes to spare. I drove fast.
I found it very soothing and refreshing, as I always do. They go heavy on the singing, which I really enjoy.

We were back home by 9pm and went to bed soon after, as my plan was to be up by 5:30 Sunday morning. I needed to make sandwiches, pack the cooler, gather up the last minute stuff and make sure the twins and I were all ready to leave by 7am at the very latest for our big adventure in Nanou.

The next day, everything went according to plan…for the first hour and fifteen minutes, anyway.

I’d packed the food and drink. The twins had eaten their breakfast and were dressed. I ‘d gathered all the gifts that JP had asked me to bring: cash, a watch, and school supplies. I also had a huge sack of cookies to share with the village children.

Then, I hauled the cooler, bags and boxes out for the driver to pack. Glancing around the yard, I didn’t see him right away. I finally found Mahama crouched by the side of the car, wrestling the spare tire into place.

“Completely flat” he told me sadly. “We have to go get it fixed before we can leave.”

1 comment:

babzee said...

Oh, BurkinaMom and her cliffhangers! Our unwavering faith assures a happy Hollywood ending will be eventually forthcoming, but until then, I can't bear to look! A flat TYRE! Oh the humanity!