that I'm not on vacation right now. After having to cancel the much-anticipated Ghana trip due to the upcoming Togolese presidential elections (that by the way got pushed back so far that it turns out we could have gone to Ghana), I had planned a 5-day trip to see some places in Benin that I hadn't yet. After no Christmas vacation and then canceling Ghana, I really needed this trip. Well, murphy's law, the day before I'm supposed to leave, I come down with a crazy fever, a rash on my arms and legs, and can't keep any food down. The fact that it's hot season (HOT HOT HOT season) and that we had no power so that I could run my fan really didn't help, so I spent the whole day laying miserable underneath my mango tree. After spending a miserable and sleepless night outside (I was still sweating the whole night, even though I was outside, just to give you an idea of how hot it was), I had to head down to the medical unit the next morning. (In addition to this illness, I have a NASTY heat rash on my neck and on my inner elbows. It must be even hotter this year than it was last.)
I had (and still have) a hunch that it is a parasite, but the tests found nothing. The doctors have no idea what I have/had. Since then, the rash has gone away and so has the fever/headache, but I'm still unable to keep down much in the way of food, and my stomach constantly hurts. I'm going to head back to post tomorrow, so I'm hoping it subsides before then.
Since my last post, I've just been hanging out at post. Wrapping up the semester went fine, though I missed a day of school that week due to some stomach issues, possibly a precursor to this yucky illness I have now :( Our power outages continued, although they seem to be cutting the power during the day more, and giving it starting at around 8:30pm, and the last few nights it stayed on until the morning. One night after a particularly scorching day, the power came on around 8pm and was still on when I went to bed, but went off right before 1am. Since I knew it was too late to see if my neighbors wanted to sleep outside, I stripped down to my underwear and laid flat on my cement floor to sleep and sweat the night away.
I went to a huge funural celebration with my neighbors the other night, which was basically just a bunch of free food and beer (warm beer since the power was not on to keep it cold) and music playing way too loud to have a conversation with anybody. At one point in the night, this large mama made me dance with her, prompting EVERYONE to whip out their cell phones and take a picture of it. Great.
In other news, I finally gave away the other kitten. When we tried to put it in a box for transport, it went absolutely crazy and we were unable to keep it in, so we had to put it in a durable bag instead :( It should be happy in it's new house, though, it's out in the middle of the jungle with plany of snacks to hunt for and trees to climb!
That's really about all for now. After heading back to post tomorrow, I should be there until the 11th or 12th when I head back to Cotonou for Kate's memorial service- can you believe it has been one year? We also have our gender and development funraising weekend in March, and if all goes well (and knowing my luck it probably won't) we should be heading to Ghana on March 30. One last cool snippet of information: just found out that an acquaintence of mine from college, Charlie White, and his partner, won a silver medal for the USA in the Olympics for ice dancing! How cool!