Friday, April 18, 2008

Severin is home this morning after an all-night party with the youth group from church. They were celebrating the end of a 30 hour fast. The idea was that they get an inkling of how it feels not to eat – which is a not-uncommon problem here in Burkina- and they would raise funds by asking for sponsors to pay them for completing the 30 hours. All the money will be used to buy sacks of rice for needy families. As rice prices are at an all-time high, it will be an especially welcome help for many families.

Of course, this well-nourished bunch of teenagers didn’t even get all that hungry. So, Severin and I did discuss the difference between a wealthy person going without food for a couple of days (and being allowed all the orange juice they want!) and someone who suffers chronic underfeeding because they can’t afford enough food. Big diff. But it was a great gesture and the kids raised a good amount of money that will ALL be spent on direct aid to very needy people.

Tonight is the “Town Hall Meeting” at the US Ambassador’s residence. I have to admit that, even though I am a Warden for the Embassy, I have never been to one of the meetings. Between one thing and another, it just never worked out. But I’ll be going tonight and hoping that it is interesting enough to get at least one blog post out of it! I figure that this is my last chance to go to one of these things. I doubt I’ll have much contact with the US Embassy in Paris. I doubt they’ll be inviting me to parties, anyway.

Tomorrow the twins will spend the day with nuns. Yes, Mally and Aly will be at the convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Consolation (see photo above) as a preparation for their First Holy Communion, which is coming up next month.

And today? Right. I need to : buy plane tickets for France. Find about about bringing our two cats to France. Order contact lenses to replace the ones I managed to rip in half. Go to Papiers du Sahel to pick up the materials for making the First Communion invitations. Buy additional fabric for dance recital costumes. Go to the Hospital pharmacy to get Alexa’s meds. Rent three tables for the ISO Jumble sale. And if I have time, go rent the next Star Trek film!! Though it probably won’t measure up to ST IV, which we watched last weekend. I know some people think that the Star Trek film franchise jumped the shark with this one. But I thought it was a GREAT family film - just as funny and enjoyable as when I first saw it back in 1986.

And here’s some good news (and thanks to all of you who were so kind as to email me and ask how it was going): Yes, my French/European Union passport has come!!! I am SO pleased that you can’t imagine. It was stolen about four years ago and it has taken this long to get it replaced, so it really does seem miraculous to get it.

A final note: If you are reading this blog and you are moving to or currently living in Burkina, you may be interested to know that we are selling most of our furniture, and all of our appliances and kitchen goods. And our car.

It turns out that a large 40 foot container is WAY too expensive for our moving budget, so we’re going with a 20 footer. That means we have to cut way down.

So, please email me (go to my profile for the address) and tell me what you are looking for. I have one blog friend already who is interested, but as we are a family of six, we have LOTS of stuff.


babzee said...

Good luck selling off all your detritus. I hope you don't even feel like replacing it all in France.

Dear, sweet Sev. I hope their lesson was well-learned; it certainly was earned. When one as been systematically deprived of food, it comes as less of a shock than a sudden and intentional 30 hour fast. It is, ironically enough, like comparing apples and oranges. Mmmm.

Benoit Lescarbeau said...

I've looked into cat travel for my wife's pet... it's going back to it's african roots...

To go to France/UE, you have to get your cats microchipped and get their vaccination up to date (especially rabies). There is also a certificate to fill with a veterenarian:

As for plane travel (at least with Air France and Royal Air Maroc), If your cat's weight is under 5kg (4 kg for Air France) INCLUDING their cage you'll be allowed to take them with you in the cabin. Otherwise, the cat goes in a pressurized and heated part of the plane's cargo. It's safe, especially since you probably have no transfer, when they are sometimes lost. Only restriction is that the cage has to be certified for plane travel.

As for the furniture and appliances, we are interested, since some of the houses we might rent are unfurnished. We'll be in Ouagadougou after the 10th of may. Until then, I should be able to find out how to send you an email!