Sunday, October 28, 2012

Random thoughts this week

I was entertained by the student who wanted extra credit for an assigned out-of-class service project because he was outside and "it was hot." I laughed and told him everything and everywhere in this country is hot. He ought to be used to it by now. He surrendered the point.


Last semester my leg was giving me some pain when I stood up. While in the States over the summer, it was diagnosed as a hip problem. Apparently one of my legs was rotating in the hip socket, making one leg longer than the other by about 1/4 inch. I learned some physical therapy exercises and techniques to pop it back in place and it felt much better.

Now we're back here and I have to pop my leg back into place 3-4 times a day. By the time I'm done with 5 hours of teaching on my feet Wednesdays, I'm in a great deal of pain. I've been limping around for the last month. So I finally broke down and got a medical cane. It makes a great deal of difference to not have to put my full weight on my foot. I can even get through a Wednesday without limping.

The guy who sold canes had a couple with overly elaborate cane handles with Chinese dragons. "Mafia or Nagus?" I thought. Turns out I wasn't far from the truth. He showed me the 2' sword in the handle - very dull edges but a sharp point for stabbing. "For Hausa man looking for trouble," he explained with a smile.

I was also interested that when the vendor needed help making change (a common occurrence), he handed my driver N1000 and received only N200 back. It was very subtle, but I actually got to see the referral kickback. Consequently, I felt less need to tip him for finding the guy and just paid him for an hour's work for two 1 minute drives as expected.


Today Princess called out "Mommy Daddy."
I responded "Daddy loves you."
She repeated, "Daddy love me."

This week she also came out with "Don' go, Mommy" and "Let me down."
Joy has never heard any of this, sadly.


For the first time, Prince got five stars on the easy level of Disney SingIt doing "Real Gone" from Cars. He was so happy the very first thing he wanted to tell me the next morning was how in his version you need 80 stars [a requirement he imported from Mario DS] and he got all 80 twice on the same song.


Mommy's allergies are bad today, so she's sneezing a lot. Princess wants to sneeze too. She suddenly throws her head back and spits all over us while saying "Boom!" I should note that Mommy does not spit all over us.


The flood waters are finally largely gone. It took more than 6 weeks for them to drain out, leaving a large brown area between Yola and Jimeta. The government is finally beginning to talk about relief efforts.


Last week for Fall Break we started decorating for Christmas - put up some tinsel and a handful of ornaments on the little tree that fits on top of the entertainment center. It's nice to see. We remember what happened last year - about this time I disappeared from the family to work double full time on classes and research and we didn't get Christmas up until the week before, so it stayed up until Easter. Hopefully by starting earlier we'll feel happier about it.