Monday, November 2, 2009

Hotel Echo Lima Lima Oscar

Apparently the volcano only glows Slightly Red at 9:30 PM and doesn’t glow Very Red until 11 PM or later so my photo-taking excursion was a bit of a bust and must be rescheduled.

The singing at the church on Sunday was un-freaking-believable. Seriously, it’s the type of stuff that you’d pay millions of dollars to go listen to at a bar or a concert hall in DC. Of course, I’m tone-deaf, so I’m a terrible judge; but this is my uninformed opinion: That it was phenomenal. The following two hours of church after the initial hour of singing were a bit hard to take; but everyone was so kind and welcoming and hugging and kissing that I may go back, if only for the hour of singing.

Tomorrow, I go to the field for four or five days. I should have a lot to write when I get back on Saturday!


My security briefing included a description of what happens when armed raiders stop your convoy to steal stuff from you. Their aim is not to physically hurt you, but just to procure material goods; but they want to intimidate you into turning everything over, so apparently it can be scary. For example, sometimes they’ll pull out a machete and slap someone with the flat side, or they’ll point a gun at you. Imagine if this were to happen and you were not prepared at all! Luckily, with the description, you can understand that the intimidation tactics are just that – tactics to scare you – and you can stay calm and composed. Both you and the raiders will want the situation to be done with as soon and painlessly as possible, and so recognizing those mutual objectives can help.

That said, there haven’t been any incidences of this sort in something like 10 months. It’s just good to be prepared.


I had my radio & satellite phone training this morning, as well. And that was all in French. And I understood a great deal of it. Pas tout. But a great deal.

(D repeated & repeated until I understood all the procedures, if not every single individual word.)


Driving to the tailor’s today (well, being driven), I passed a man in the street whom I KNEW. Not from WORK. I’d seen him at that church; he’d been introduced. That was the BEST FEELING – to see someone in the community and know them, from outside of the office.