I wake up and think what am I doing here? And, then I get up, make some tea, and get going. Saturday I practiced French in the morning over coffee at the office on the beach and then I went bodysurfing and hit some sizable waves. Then I know precisely what I am doing and why I am here.
One of the nice things about being in a disorganized place with limited to no infrastructure is that the internet (if you can pay for it) is actually pretty good because it has to be wireless and the NFL offers subscriptions to people outside of North America and parts of Europe that are amazing. So, yesterday I watched the Seahawks lay an egg in my appartment with my router that fits in the palm of my hand. I have yet to see a Hawks game of this quality in Lewisburg so that's one, big, huge point for la côté d'ivoire except now we need to figure how to win the game.
Today, the president is here and I went to the political rally. Basically people getting free t-shirts and standing in longgggg lines waiting in blazing sun to get into the outdoor arena. Why do they wait? Zero chance I would do it in the U.S. even in good weather. So why do they do it? I think the common response in the U.S. and rest of the west is that they will do anything for democracy and to be part of the political process.
I buy little if any of that explanation but I might be wrong. Actually, my second research project here is designed to answer this and related questions about how poor people here and across SSA feel about elite politicians. Our hunch, i.e., working hypotheses, is that we are going to find out that what we think in the U.S. about how people view their elite politicians is largely wrong or far more nuanced then we believe. But, we don't know for sure so that's why we do the research...to learn more. Tu me comprends?
John Doces. Je vous écris de la Côte-d'Ivoire en Afrique.