Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Malady Of Congo

I swear, if I get ONE more invitation to visit ONE more office, I’m going to rip it up and use it as toilet paper.

Today, Polycarpe got an invitation from an official we have already seen, requesting a meeting. Polycarpe decided to go to avoid any trouble, and the official asked that we come to his office tomorrow at 10 am.

When Polycarpe asked why, the official refused to tell him.

So now, we have yet another meeting with the SAME official -- all within 2 months of being here! Polycarpe claims that it is “the maladie du Congo” -- the sickness of Congo. These constant, endless, repetitive, ridiculous meetings with the the official presiding over the right foot while the official in charge of the left foot demands a meeting simultaneously.

We have been here nearly two months, and this is now the... <counts> 8th official we’ve had to meet with, with another two officials deflected while we were in Yoko.

I told my mother on the phone this week that this does indeed feel like the most inhospitable place I’ve yet lived.

I’m not talking about the sweltering, sticky heat, or the day-long mosquito infestation, or the complete lack of cheese or other foods. But this harassment -- which is really what it should be considered -- of constantly being summoned to meetings. It’s not only annoying, but also a bit scary.

I do feel protected by Polycarpe, and, of course, Adam, and I know there is really nothing serious any official here can DO to me, but the anticipation of hassle and stress always sucks.

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