Came home to an intense pick up game in front of my house and had to get a video. I don't have my phone so I got my computer which is awkward but did the job.
Today I woke up to no power. Always a joy--no coffee, no shower, no nothing. At least Anna was here so I shared my fruit plate with her and then decided I would head out to one of my spots on the beach. Today, is the day before Thanksgiving which is always a favorite of mine as everyone is getting ready to spend time with family and friends, eat and drink, and watch football. Even though I am far from home I definitely have the spirit.
I invited Veronique and Anna with me to the cafe and so they came along. We hopped in a cab and headed over to the beach hotel which they had not been to before. Anna loved it and could not stop bugging me to go down to the water. At first I was trying to do some work but she was persistent and would come up to me and point to the beach and then I would say "dix minutes" and she would say "deux" and I would say "sept" and on it went until I relented and took her down to the waves. Her Mom got to rest and we all had a fun day.
Later in the afternoon we came back home. The power was still out and my place was dreadfully warm so I took Anna to get some chips and some fresh air for me. The closest place was out of chips so I got her a sucker instead. Then we went to find some "cacahuetes" (peanuts), stopped by the artist co-op on the way, and ended up walking down to where I buy my fresh OJ and found some peanuts there. I got an OJ and she got her peanuts and we gave some of the peanuts to some of the kids there.
We got back home and I threw her in the air which she loves but wears me out especially when my place is literally a sauna. Eventually it was time for them to go home and Anna laid down on the floor and told her Mom she wanted to stay here with me. We all laughed. They went home but I told her that I would come to her school tomorrow and pick her up. I also told Veronique that tomorrow is a big holiday in the U.S. and I asked her to make my favorite Ivorian dinner. She was very excited about it.
So, all in all, I had a great day-before-Thanksgiving. It really is about the spirit of family, friends, food...and football.
My friend Erik and I have been teaching English at the orphanage that is located in the French Quarter. It is a national orphanage for girls from all over the country. We are now including students from the university to come teach the girls English too. It is a lot of fun and it helps me with my french. Below is a photo with me and my fancy Hugo Boss glasses that I bought on the beach.
Today I went to Abidjan to do some errands and get my haircut by a Lebanese barber up there. There is a large Lebanese community here and they do good work and serve great schwarmas too! I got home in the afternoon and Anna was sitting on the floor eating a bowl of rice and some fried chicken. I looked a little closer and saw she was down to the last bit of chicken and then took an even closer look and realized it was the foot. I said, "Oh la la Anna, la pied." Her mom laughed and she went on to finish it no problem. Nothing wasted. (Unfortunately I lost my phone so no pic, but I will be getting a replacement soon.) I know there is a small Anna fan club so I will still post a pic of her from awhile back.
My brother Mark Rockwell I am praying for you and your family. I said a prayer for your Dad today at a small church over here deep in West Africa. I think your Dad would have liked this Church and would have appreciated that the structure might be different but the spirit is the same. God Bless my friend.
The famous "Door of No Return" is at the Cape Coast Castle although Elmina has one too of course. It is a powerful experience walking through that door knowing that so many people passed through their against their will never to return. Yet, it is now also one that has a door of return reminding us that we can come back.
John Doces. Je vous écris de la Côte-d'Ivoire en Afrique.