After Israel's Mom hugged him a lot, he came to me and grabbed my arm and held my hand. He was really happy. It was a great moment for me. It's been a crazy year but that is one of the best moments. I had no idea that walking to his school to get his exam scores would turn into such a cool day.
Today I told Chris and Israel to help Anna ride her bike. They went across the street and after I finished entering data I went and checked on them. It turned into a bike circus with other kids joining and we were throwing an old ping-pong type ball too. It was a lot of fun. Then Israel asked me what time it was and I said 2. I asked why. They told me the results of his exams were being announced today. A lot of kids were walking to the school so we put the bikes back and we all walked over to the school chanting "Allez Israel!" (Go Israel!) I did not know what to expect but soon realized that this was more than just a posting of the scores.
After waiting a bit, the headmaster and one of the teachers read the scores. There were several classes and Israel's was last as they are the oldest. For them passing is really a big deal because next is "college" or middle school. They announced the kids scores for each class and everyone got really excited. The moms went crazy for the kids and most of the kids were either really happy or they cried out of happiness. One of the kids from my neighborhood was totally overwhelmed as you can see in this video. After a while he came up to me to shake my hand and he was so happy to see me. I felt so good for him and all of the kids.
Israel was really nervous when the names for his were being called. At one point he was praying. It was really a lot of fun to be there. When his name was called Veronique went crazy and I shouted too. Israel was so happy. Everyone is really proud of him and it is a great event for me to see. I can't tell you how much the kids and their parents value their kids going to school.
Anna really wanted a bike. She gave me many thinly veiled messages like, "Papi, un velo." So I went to Abidjan and found one. The store also had drones so I got one too. Why not. The drone is hilarious because we can't fly it, all the people laugh at us, and it scares the chickens a lot. Good times.
My family rallied to get Veronique and the kids a TV. They were so excited but Veronique was really, really excited. Lots of fun and they will get a lot of use out of it.
Yopougon is the largest neighborhood in Abidjan. It is incredibly dense, noisy, and full of all kinds of stuff going on. We worked there collecting data on Saturday and got a lot done but it was crazy. I was exhausted when I got home and glad to be back in Bassam. The post below shows one of the many roads leading into the areas where people live away from the main streets. This video shows one of the main roads that are packed.
When the kids watch TV Anna likes to watch in a position in which she is basically upside down. Not sure why but it's pretty funny.
John Doces. Je vous écris de la Côte-d'Ivoire en Afrique.