I was visiting a new work partner at his cybercafe the other day and noticed an interesting phenomenon. It was full of Nigerians (identified thus because they’re anglophones who refuse to learn French) actively involved in scamming Americans and Canadians. The owner was somewhat embarassed, but unable to refuse the scammers, as they’re his best source of income. The cybercafe at my primary work partner is also flooded with these...


Back in action.

After a week of frantic emails, DreamHost has found the problem (they forgot to renew my contract) and put all of my websites back online. Thank goodness. The most startling thing about all of this was how completely accepting my students were of the hassle and delay that going off-line entailed. They had homework to submit. They were freaked out about their grades. But hey, this is Benin, and...


I spent the last week in Parakou, ringing in the New Year with Bertrand and his family. With the exception of a few unnerving comments by Bertrand’s mother (referred to henceforth as “Maman”) about my impending (hah!) conversion to Catholicism so that I can marry her son, the week was comfortable and relaxing. And his father (referred to henceforth as “Papa”) even let me turn the satellite to CNN to...


On being on the other side.

You finish your meeting with the Deputy Director of the university. Not all of your questions have been answered, but you managed to pin him down on most of your concerns. You head up to the teacher’s lounge to gather your thoughts and review your notes before your first lecture. If only you’d known how much effort your university professors put into preparing each lecture; you might have been a...


On why I’m thankful I grew up in America.

Late last week, Bertrand, my boyfriend was in an accident. He was riding behind a friend on a moto (small motorcycle), approaching a traffic circle. A large truck was slowing down, and appeared to be ceding the right of way. Cyril (who was driving), decided to go ahead and enter the round-point. All of a sudden, the truck accelerated and swerved into the path of my friends’ bike. They t-boned...


On Silverman.

Today I described my friendship with someone back home as “a continual exchange of very clever meanness.” Whatever the hell that means.раскрутка и продвижение сайтов


Update for real.

Burkina was fantastic, as were Tanagou, Nati, Péhunko, and Sinendé. Parakou was somewhat less so, but that may be more a function of the fact that I was working than any inherent not-fantastic-ness on the part of the town. I went to Ouaga (that’s Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, for those of you not used to the “I’m so old-hat I refer to African capitals by their nicknames” jargon)...


Home sweet home

Cotonou, that is. Back in town and catching up on the massive amount of work that wasn’t done in my absence. Fantastic. Over 250 emails in my inbox, about 50 need immediate attention. So I’ll get back to everyone as soon as I can.оптимизация сайта под поисковые


Big things happening in my life right now

Work is busy and driving me crazy, but I’ve finally got a shot at a real, sustainable, interesting project. This is incredible. What will be even more incredible is if work continues on it in my absence. We shall see. My boyfriend is sucking up insane amounts of my spare time. Clearly, I’m enjoying the hell out of it, although the fact that I haven’t finished a book in two...