Sunday, March 02, 2008

There are huge crocodiles in the middle of Ouagadougou. Big ones, loose in the park, that can eat your dog or your toddler. And you thought riots and meningitis were all we had to worry about!

Yesterday afternoon, Mallory asked (demanded forcefully until our ears bled) that we all go take her beloved pet, Aslan the Wonder Goat, for a walk at the park.
He hesitated to get in the back of the station wagon and had to be shoved in. He never knows if he's going to the park for nice walkies or to the vet to get huge needles jabbed into him. But when we got to the park, he hopped out very nicely and trotted alongside Mallory happily.

In the middle of the park is a marsh. I'd vaguely heard that there were crocodiles, but I never thought about it much.
I'd never seen one, but then, I'd never looked.

This time, we saw them.
As we passed the marsh, a woman called us over- "That crocodile just ate a hawk!"
We saw the croc in question. He was smallish, by local standards-about five feet long, laying on a rock. And one you spotted him, it was easier to spot all the others lounging around.

The woman went on "I was here yesterday and some white people had small children splashing in the edges of the water. I don't think they knew there were crocodiles!"
Probably not.

Besides crocs, we also have soldiers, lots of soldiers. There's still a huge military presence throughout the city, at least there was as of last night. We went out to dinner- a belated outing in honor of the twins' 10th birthday. We hadn't dared to go out on Thursday -the actual day of their birthday and of the unrest. (The two events were unrelated. I think.) See? I am reasonably cautious.
We went to a chinese restaurant with five kids stuffed into the station wagon, singing every song from High School Musical. (Who needs a radio?) Almost every corner in town seemed to have a group of five or six (or more!) soldiers standing guard.
I asked JP "Is the government really expecting more trouble?"
His take on it is that they know it's coming- it's just a matter of when.

I am off to visit an orphanage now. I will doubtless have much to post on the topic.
Also- mustn't forget that the Earth Shrine story still isn't done.
I REALLY need a less eventful life!

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