Day 17, April 2nd, 2011
Early the morning that Abner and I were to travel from Mopti, Mali, to Ouagadougou (love saying that!), Burkina Faso, we encountered two young peace corps volunteers who were returning back to Ghana after spending time in Mali. We hung out with them at the “bus station” waiting for our transport to be ready. Lara and Raphaela were in their early 20′s and were from Belgium and Germany. They would be on the same bus as us. Because of all their time in Ghana, they’d gone a bit “wild”. Raphaela had gone swimming in the Niger River (wow, a really bad idea) and was sporting a pretty “nice” case of impetigo (bacterial staph infection) on her face, neck, and torso. They ate with (exceptionally) dirty hands. I don’t know how wild I would go if I spent a year in a place like Ghana…but I think I would probably always eat with clean hands. :-) The girls were fun to be around for the next day and a half. Westerners were a rare thing to run into on our particular itinerary. It can be rather exhausting trying to communicate in a language (French) that you don’t speak well at all, and these girls were kind enough to speak with us in English.
Anyhow, while I cannot remember exactly what precipitated their sharing this lesson, I remember the lesson.
“Don’t buy a fish in the water” I was cautioned by one of the girls. This was something they had learned from the Ghanaians they were living with.
It’s an excellent warning on knowing what you are getting before you invest in it.