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"The · darkest · thing · about · Africa · has · always · been · our · ignorance · of · it"


How to find out what people REALLY think of you

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I woke up before 6 am today, and couldn't sleep, so I decided I'd just come to the PC office for a while.
Waking up that early wasn't ALL bad, though.
Why?
Because I got to buy some of Jammeh's bread.  Jammeh's Gambia's president of 13 years or something now.  Or, "Dr. J," as I heard someone refer to him the other day.
Why, you ask, did I buy bread from the president?
Because a few months back, a bread bakery opened on Kairaba, one of the main roads in Kombo and the place with the highest real estate values in the country (so I've heard).  Apparently, the big guy himself owns it.
It took me a long time to realize it was a bakery.  The lines were always so long and the front door so jam-packed that I used to think they played football games on a TV there.
Turns out, people just think the bread is so amazing (because it's Jammeh's bread or because they really like the recipe, I don't know) that they're willing to stand in long lines in the hot sun to buy a 20 cent loaf of bread (shaped like a small baguette).
Anyway, as it happens, the bakery is open and not crowded at 6 am.  So after walking by that ridiculous line dozens of time, I was able to stroll in when no one was around and easily buy a loaf.  It's good, but it's not that good.  It's basically just regular French bread.
But then, I suppose eating a loaf of Jammeh's bread is one of those things every PCV should do before leaving the Gambia.  Right up there with being waved at by the president in his passing motorcade (been there) or even meeting the big guy himself (done that).  So, I guess that means I can go home like, today, right?

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^Sometimes I do this when I don't have a good transition and have overused "Anyway" and "In other news."

When you COS (Close Of Service), as part of the medical clearing process, you are allowed to photocopy and take any part of your PC medical record you wish.  Incidentally, this is also the first chance you get to actually see firsthand what was written about you.

It was quite the experience reading what's been written about me.  The best entry was when they were looking to switch me off of the malaria prevention med that has psychological side effects.  They were trying to determine how badly the meds were screwing with my head, so the entry's full of stuff like:
- "Seems rational"
- "Makes eye contact"
- "Dressed neatly"
- "Started crying"
- "Can converse coherently"

Then I happened to look at the notes for my most recent exam, the COS physical.  Most of the notes were familiar, since she was copying down what I was saying.  But then I got to the very end, where she'd decided to add just ooooooooonnnnee more thing:

"Mild facial acne"

Ouch.

Current Mood:
sleepy sleepy
Current Music:
Songbirds -- it's dawn
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