I’m currently writing this under a thatched roof with a big snake slithering around above me. African’s are terrified by snakes and think I’m crazy. I’m fairly confident that it won’t come seeking trouble and is only likely to attack if I surprise or stand on it – not likely unless I turn into Lionel Ritchie and start dancing on the ceiling (oh, what a feeling). Additionally, I should be protected by my new gris-gris which I’ve been reliably informed will even stop bullets. So why does everyone freak when I go near a snake? Perhaps I’m putting more faith in the gris-gris than I should.
Talking of gris-gris, I was thinking about planting an orange grove. I was discussing this with a shop-keeper friend who tells me there’s big money in selling this fruit to Dakar. I enquired as to whether you’d lose a lot of fruit to theft? He said no, you simply hang some gris-gris in the trees. Everyone then knows that if they steal them their testicles will fall off (I didn’t ask what happens to ladies). A few days later, I walked past some tasty looking oranges, and just as my mind turned to scrumping, I noticed the gris-gris (pictured below). I carried on walking.
The big news from the past week is that I finally have my own internet connection. I’m not sure this is good for my stress levels though as I was getting a faster connection back in rural Vietnam in 1999. I’ve taken to reading a book whilst online, looking up every few pages to click to the next email. It can take an entire morning to check emails and post a blog, but I’m hoping things will eventually speed up. I had to travel more than 50 miles to buy the telephone system. The first time, the Orange office system was down, meaning they were unable to sell to me. The second time I was given the wrong system that didn’t work. Third time lucky, I finally got it sorted, thanks to my friend Lauries’ help.
I recently purchased some macro rings for my camera – a cheap alternative to a macro lens for photographing small things – insects, flowers and so on. I’ve experimented a little and here are a couple of examples:
The slithering has begun to increase in frequency – I think I’ll move inside now.