happy christmas

Happy Christmas from Togo

I found out on the 23rd that one of my best friends had to leave Togo for medical reasons. If you read this Sangbo, take care. We miss you.

I spent Christmas munching on Cipro and being curled up on a cot in between running to the toilet. Luckily I was in Bassar, at Jacqui’s house. She has a flush toilet. I was feeling a little better by the time they made Christmas dinner, so I ate a little. And then barfed all over the bathroom. Ho ho ho.

Early this morning the wind started gusting. Doors and shutters were banging for a couple hours. The wind died down by daybreak—such as daybreak was anyway. I woke up this morning and visibility was about 5 kilometers.

The weather was interesting coming back from Burkina a couple weeks ago. Visibility was about 2k, if that. It was like a thick white fog covering everything. Except that the air was hot and dusty. The wind picks up sand from the deserts north of here and blankets the landscape in a cloud of dust mingled with ash from the thousands of bush fires that are constantly burning this time of year.

Bush fires are interesting. I can’t remember how many times I’ve been sitting somewhere and seen random bits of ash floating down out a clear sky. I see pillars of brown smoke smudging the sky on any given day. At night, distant fires light up sections of the sky with a brooding orange glow like the crevasse of some deep inferno. The one of the mountains around Bassar was burning on the night of Christmas Eve. Rings of fire circled around a couple of the peaks for about 6 hours; it looked like a volcano gazing out of the darkness.

Cat Update for Karen: Nighan is good. She jumps up on the counter, although not as much since one night when she jumped up and straddled my lit candle . . . She and Nigarmi growl at each other on sight. Mullet is terrified of her. Nighan bats at him when he looks at her so he hides under the bed. The kittens, Stubbs and McFats, bounce around oblivious to all the cat drama around them.

My garden was spewing out all manner of green things 2 months ago. I couldn’t even walk in it without tripping over vines. Now it looks like a desert wasteland. Seriously. Dust devils starve in it. Goats, however, apparently do not.

The bad thing about internet is that you can look and see that 2 of your favorite bands have released new albums that you cannot listen to . . . .

Ouga from our hotel

D at the cafe