Yesterday, Saturday, Veronique stopped by with Chris and Anna. Normally she does not come on Saturday but they wanted to say hi. She made me some food and cleaned up a bit. Very nice. I played with the kids and took them for a coke. Anna likes it when I throw her in the air.
September and October are the end of the rainy season; June is the most intense month. It rains and it rains hard when it does. I shot this video at the end of one recent rain. Unfortunately I didn't think to take a video until it had mostly passed but even the end is pretty strong.
Well all of the kids are in school. Anna has school in town and Israel and Chris go to school in the French Quarter. Actually, the boys' school is right around the block from my place so I sometimes see them walking back from school. Anna's school is across the bridge toward the central part of Bassam.
Last week I had to do some errands in town a couple of says so I picked her up to save her mom the time (and cab money or long walk). Needless to say she gets really excited to see me primarily because she plays on the slide a lot more with me than I'm sure her Mom allows. I'm a push-over.
The boys are learning English in school and Chris is getting good. I bought them each a small French-English book I saw at the local school supply store. It's not bad and they like it a lot. They are both eager learners and Chris especially wants to learn about everything. He is very bright and inquisitive and I really hope he gets to advance in school as far as he can possibly go with it. Here are some pics from last week.
It took some serious effort but I have finally got a board of my own. It came from a town about an hour away toward Ghana. Two guys brought it here on a motorcycle. We negotiated for the price in the sand and they said they could not go as low as I wanted because they had to pay a lot of bribes on the way up. I believed them: imagine two guys driving across 520 in Seattle on a small motorcycle carrying a surfboard. Someone is going to get paid, believe it.
The final price included a round of beers on the beach. We had fun and then they left. I think we are going to surf together but there was a lot lost in conversation so we'll see what happens if anything.
A lot of people, most for that matter, do jobs that are tough and they do them everyday. One, in particular, looks very hard to me and if you don't like heights then it's definitely not for you. I certainly am not looking to do it unless I get a forklift.
Today I took the kids to the pool at the hotel across the street. We swam and had lunch and had a great time. We mostly played in the small pool because the boys are still learning to swim and Anna cannot swim. We did go into the big pool and I helped the boys practice their swimming. They all love the water. I bought a small tube for Anna and she could not get enough of it. We had lunch and all had a nice day.
As you might expect, football or soccer is hugely popular here to play and to watch. It's common to see games on fields, side-streets, and on the beach. Whether it is a small pick-up game or a league game they are very intense and winning or losing is a big deal. They are all a lot of fun to watch and I appreciate the passion they play the game with.
Interestingly, basketball is played too and there is a hoop a few blocks from my house. It's just a rim and an old backboard on a pole but they play and they are good. I've seen a few pick-up games and the kids can shoot, dribble, and pass as it is played in the U.S. Good to see and of course I can't resist to throw a few in too.
John Doces. Je vous écris de la Côte-d'Ivoire en Afrique.