I've probably ate my body weight in peanuts in the past week. Seriously. The pad of my right thumb is permanently numb. My new favorite thing to do is to buy 100 cfa worth when i get in a car and munch on them. it helps pass the time.
i got home from Kara Tuesday and my house was empty. Kittens and Nighan were gone. Petit said they'd been gone for three days after a bonfire/party outside my house (the 'people of god' had been celebrating something). Petit had circulated through the neighborhood looking for them. Nighan had made a couple appearances, but no one had seen kittens. I was upset. My family was upset too. Like 3 other people came over to saluate me and said that, now that I was back, the kittens would come home.
Nighan showed up at like 1800 and yowled a lot.
2130 or so I was sitting on my porch when I heard meowing outside my compound. Then one kitten ran into my house. Then another found its way in through the drain hole in my wall. . . . then the other 2. My neighbors regarded it as a minor miracle the next day, or were like 'told you so.'
So, Saturday i left to bring 2 kittens to Bassar. Saye is taking one and babysitting the other while i am away. When richard got there, i put them in a box, duct taped it up and we left . . . 2 minutes later 5 kids were chasing a kitten through the bushes. petit and richard were like 'here in Togo, we carry cats in a sack. here you go.'
We left kouka about 1700, plenty of time to get to Bassar before it got dark. we were about 30 minutes down the road when i looked up and saw these bands of dark clouds oozing their way across the sky. ****!
We made it to Janet's (a homologue) house just as the rain hit. It was one of those steady rains that fluctuates in intensity but never freakin stops. About 1830, Richard was like, 'lets just go' because it was almost dark and we didnt have much choice in the matter.
So we put our phones in plastic bags and took off. i had the kittens in the crook of my arm.
The road was saturated. like, there was a slimy layer of mud on top of a gooey layer of mud on top of a squishy layer of mud. the rear end of the moto was like a piranha's butt in a feeding frenzy. we went through some puddles, if you use the term loosely, that came past my ankles-- when i had my feet on the footpegs.
then it got dark and Richard couldn't really see the firmer parts of the road anymore.
eventually we started slaloming between two ruts, the rear wheel kicked around, and we were on the road. somehow neither of us wound up under the moto. i landed mostly on my feet. once we got the moto up and going again i realized that i hadnt go of the kittens the whole time.
we lost control a couple more times, but we didnt go over.
Anyway, as we went along, it got darker, the road got worse, and it kept raining. outside of manga there was a firm strip of road that was about 40 centimeters across. the rest of it was goo.
the only other experience ive had like that is in a rear-wheel drive sports car in an ice storm. my world was moto engine, dim headlight, raindrops, and muddy darkness.
ive never been so glad to see asphalt in my life as i was when we got to kabou. my back was burning from the tension. we were soaked. one of the kittens bit me through the sack.
the rest of the trip was relatively ok. the rain stopped as we went south to bassar. mist was doing weird things over the road. richard's moto waited until we go to bassar itself to start refusing. i just got another zed out to D's house. it was on of the only times in Togo that ive been cold enough to shiver.
speaking of rain, its been weird this year. or different from last year rather. there have been mornings when i wake up to a long soaking drizzle. then it gets hot like it usually does, then it rains again for like 3 hours in the evening. last year there was a thunderstorm every other day. this year its been raining almost every day, sometimes multiple times. petit says the peanut harvest wont be good because of all the rain. he sounds just like my father.
we had a round of friendly matches between the girls football teams from manga, kouka, and nampoch. my team got there late (long story), so we played kouka second. still lost 2-0. my coach says its because the nampoch girls are shy when they come in to kouka so they don't play well. i can see that, although im pretty sure nampoch would have one if the game was scored by bruises dealt.
in the north, most peanuts are prepared either by steam, or by shaking them with hot coals. i prefer steamed so i dont get charcoal all over me. in the south, they sometimes roast peanuts in hot sand. the problem with that is that it makes the peanuts gritty.
one has to be careful when eating peanuts; you cant just automatically shell them and pop them in your mouth. some of them are bad, some have started to sprout, and some house little steamed millipedes.
i got some cherry poptarts the other day. wow. thats all i have to say about that.
for the fourth of july (which i forgot about until Bry mentioned it at our football game), me, Bry, and Jenn roasted hotdogs over a charcoal stove. We dressed them up and shared them with Kader and his family. They weren't very impressed, except for Mamanatou, she came back for thirds. But they were amazing. then it started raining and i had to spend the night in kouka.
I am getting really good at identifying snake killings. I walked out of D's compound the other day and saw a bunch of workmen with big sticks standing around a pile of concrete block. One of them was pounding a long stick into one of the block. there is one less cobra in the world now. i guess its a good thing that it was a cool morning because the snake seemed pretty lethargic. i poked around it after it mostly stopped twitching. freaking long fangs. i still cant get used to the fact that i probably walk by snakes like that every day, like i did that one.