Argh. My bike is shot. By which I mean there's a hole in the inner tube right next to the air input –in such a way that it's impossible to patch – I will have to actually replace the tube. Luckily, the "bike man" from Peace Corps is coming on his semi-annual bike check this weekend. So he should be able to fix/replace everything. The list is getting long, mostly due to my tumble during AIDS ride:
both mudflaps have fallen off (a necessity for the muddy paths)
my bell was crushed so I can't alert people to get out of my way when I crashed my right handle got pushed out of place
my bike seat slides down as I ride, making my knees ache if I don't adjust it often enough
Anyway, what this means is for this week I have to walk everywhere. This means chub rub. My thighs rubbing together cause a friction rash that really hurts. It's a major reason why I didn't wear skirts much before coming here. I've successfully avoided it since arriving at post mostly by cycling most of the time, but just a few 10-minute walks has brought it all painfully back. Grr. This is not productive and bad for the ol' self-esteem and positive mood necessary for being effective in village.
I'm finding that I am much more moody than normal here. I cry really easily and not just at 'that time of the month'. I wonder if it might be related to taking Larium as malaria prophylaxis. I've heard it can often affect mood. I imagine it's also because I'm far away from home and a bit frustrated about feeling obligated to lie to people every single day, whether it's about small things like "yes, I'll buy you a present while I'm in Lome" or big things like "actually, I'm married, so I'm not interested in having you 'drop by' so we can 'relax' together".
I've been having trouble sleeping lately – to the point that I took a Benadryl last night to try to help me. I still didn't fall asleep until 1am, and I had to get up at 5. Made me rather cranky today despite my best intentions.
Today is the Journee Mondiale du SIDA – I went to the chief's house to be introduced to all the notables and watch my homologue give a sensibilisation on the importance of registering births, deaths and marriage. She is a parajuriste which seems to be someone who actively encourages local populations to find out about their rights especially pertaining to women's rights and family law. There's an element of health education, too. I learned all this from skimming through the parajurist handbook.
Current reading: Homeland by R.A. Salvatore