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Gave blood this morning – the Africa trip means I’ll be banned for at least a year, so I wanted to give it one last shot, so to speak. I’m O negative, which means anyone can use my blood (yeah, I’m easy that way), so I feel like I ought to do it even though I hate it. Usually I’m a gusher, but this time she nicked me and so I bled too slowly and started clotting before I filled the bag, so they can’t use it. And another lovely bruise to boot!
Got a very preliminary itinerary for the trip yesterday. Too many meetings with “officials” and not enough reality, imo. A tentative meeting with the current president. And though we’re only two days in Lagos, a visit to the slum communities on the lagoon. That afternoon and evening are supposedly free, so maybe I could indeed spend some time with a family who lives there? Though we leave “early morning” the next day by bus for Kaduna and Kano.
And another kidnapping at an oil rig in Port Harcourt today. And though we are not going into the delta, for obvious safety reasons, they are trying to set up a meeting with oil industry reps. But oughtn’t we try equally hard to meet with someone from the militants’ side – or at least with the residents of the delta who, while the world sucks away their valuable natural resources, barely subsist without agriculture or potable water or decent housing, much less such luxuries as education or job opportunites?
Read the Vanity Fair piece by Sebastian Junger: http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/02/junger200702
More travel fantasies: The school where I “studied” espanol in Oaxaca has new rates – only $75 a week for group lessons. I’m sure they, like the rest of the city’s tourist-based society, have suffered greatly from the government-induced violence of this summer and fall.
I daydream regularly about going down there again – a road trip, this time, as the only real expense in’04 was the $1,000 plane fare. I suppose it was idyllic mostly because it was such an escape from “real” life – no job, no stress, few money worries, the true escape of not even being able to understand the cacophony of noises surrounding you. Would all that translate to a more permanent move? I wonder …