Allyson and I just got back from Ouagadougou last night. What a trip, 600 miles/15 hours each way on some of the worst roads imaginable. One stretch had so many potholes we could barely go 10 mph.
On our way home yesterday, about 150 miles from Bamako, we had a blowout. We were going about 70 on a reasonably good stretch of road when we suddenly heard a very loud banging sound and the car started shaking. The tire was shredded. We were in the middle of nowhere. West Africa nowhere. It was kinda scary, but everything worked out. We flagged down two teenagers passing by on a motorbike, and they helped us change the tire. Actually, they didn’t help us change the tire – they changed the tire while we watched. I was so grateful that I gave them each 10,000 francs – about $20, probably as much as they make in two weeks.
While we were in Ouaga, Allyson got the “bid list” for her next job. There are hundreds of jobs on it, but only a handful in “public diplomacy,” the area that she wants to work in. We have to whittle the list down to 20 and submit it by February 15. Right now the Top 5 are, in no particular order: Skopje, Sofia, Jerusalem, New Delhi, and Bishkek. Of course, that could change. In fact I’m sure it will.