Babies coming home from the hospital generally don't have names in some foreign countries. When you are accepted as one of them - when you name a baby and it "sticks". When they register the birth certificate that name is on the form. Or, when they name their babies after you, you will know that you have been accepted as one of them.
She is really lucky....
What does it mean, Andy, that Bah is sleeping so much? I totally respect your decisions with regards to choice of woman and country, but it seems to me like you would be far better off with a change in both. Are you somehow intentionally letting your guard down as some sort of experiment perhaps? You don't deserve to be taken advantage of. Stay safe.
Andy's Mom- Please tell Benedict that I am so happy for her. She has a beautifull baby. Do not know if it is a boy or girl but that does not matter because it is a wonderfull gift to care for and love all of her life.
You know in small town Indiana the doors were unlocked. People could walk inside the kitchen to use the party-line phone, leave a message on the kitchen table, a get a drink of water or kool-aid from the frig, make a sandwich, watch t.v. until the person they wanted to see got home. I miss that. Things are different on a 160 acres, and a few neighbors ...Then again I guess in some cities and buildings people have each others backs but in different ways.
I live in a place that people take care of each other. I have never heard of people going hungry here. People will always invite you for something to eat. In fact, most of us are way overfed.
I'm always stopping to help tourists who I see on the side of the road, if they look like they have a problem. I think remote small town thinking does that for me, automatically. I get both a chuckle and a shiver in 80 degree weather, when I think what it could be like stuck in some ditch in the rural mid-West in Feb. -20 with a busted heater, flying off some black ice into a snow bank. Hell, I've driven stranded, Japanese, Chinese, Kazakh, and Russian back to their hotels or rental shops. I let a Japanese guy use my shower, and lent him fresh clothes. Lord, knows I'm no saint but do try to "Do a Good Turn Daily."
Millions of people are out there on the road (of life) who will help a stranger. And we are never afraid to offer a hand to somebody in need. They can say, "No" but I do believe it is the thought that counts. It's like holding or opening the door for somebody at the Post Office, making it easier for someone whether it be the traditional lady, child, person with a box, or disability--or no problem at all that is just our way.
Worldmind, you asked,
"Are you somehow intentionally letting your guard down as some sort of experiment perhaps?"
This is not an experiment, this is my real life, and not so wonderful today.
I have never married, I am 55, again back to the obvious theory. I am obviously afraid of something involving love or commitments. My own fears distort my ability to make good decisions with women, therefore it become more difficult to know when I am making a good or a bad decision, i am positive in love relationships I can imagine things that are not real, and make horrilbe decisions.
I am trying to weigh Bah by her actions, however the culture is incredibly harsh, blunt and brutal, they are natural at being bullies. There is a path of least resistance, and that is outside of Africa, but maybe the path here will give me the most reward with the most amount of work.
I feel safe in Quartier Grand Bassam, the people are my friends, although I am quite sure this country is still moving towards a civil war. This may sound dramatic, however today I am very alive, my brain is clear, my nerves are working, I am awake and aware of me and my feelings. Unfortunately, I needed to enter into a rather dysfunctional relationship with a girls, and go live in a country at war to be awaken, nonetheless, I am awake.
I am writing this book, it is about finding sweet spots on the planet, place where we feel at home, where we are safe, and where the cost of living is so cheap, that even the most negligent person with a budget is OK. I am setting a budget of 500, and when a person spend three times that, they will still not be impoverished.
When under the greatest challenges a person must use all their skills to find the proper balance. What I am trying to say, I am greatly challenged here in Ivory Coast and it would be a good time to have a clear thought and finish this book.
I am looking now for a two month window, not sure where it is, but give me a two month window and I will close the window and close the book, I will finish it.
I know out of mass confusion I can pull a clear thought.
Part of my 'program' is to help someone less fortunate than I each day, when possible, often on the city bus home, there are kids and adults both selling candy, a fistful of candy for 25 cents US, sometimes I will buy the candy and give it to a child on the bus, with permission of Mother or Adult Guardian with them, none have told me 'no' and the child lights up like a Christmas Tree, among my first memories were being in a 'baby seat' in a 1950 Ford, built like a tank, with overdrive, driven around by my Mom or Dad, I never had to ride a 20 year old Blue bird school bus on my Mother's lap, I was fortunate.
Two years ago there were riots here in El Salvador, by 'students' and others, buses were being burned, inside a burning bus was a young lady carrying a baby, the paramedic in me came out and I rescued them, put them in a taxi and apid the driver to take them home, right place, right time, the little things, the big things all add up to Mitzvahs and Karma
I turned the news off today, felt the rage coming out against Mr. looney toons who still rules Libya, for now at least and went out for a walk
I have been caught up in 'civil unrest', I am a New Yorker (city) and by nature used to chaos, does not matter, called 'streetwise' or 'streetsmarts', good thing to have if one travels
Andy, know if you get caught up with anything over in Cote D'Ivoire (love French, mine is rusty, we had the Cote de Niege in Montreal, road icy and dangerous in winter) you will instinctivly know waht to do, when and survive.
G-d takes care of drunks and ex drunks, children, crazy people, older persons and the USA(or citizens thereof abroad), I now fit into 4 catagories, Salut.
Nice article on the baby. Au revoir.
If I were to assign a label to myself, it would be that I am a CouchSurfer. I become energized by people: being around them and interacting with them. I am an extrovert. As such, CouchSurfing is amazing for me.
However, I think you may have portrayed it wrongly. It is not about pre-arranging FRIENDSHIPS. It is about being part of a global community. Like your Indiana community of acceptance and trust, but on a larger geographic scale.
As such, people have community interactions. Not every community interaction is positive. Not every community interaction is a friendship. Not every community interaction results in sleeping in a fellow community member's house. However, as a whole, we know that we all are working for the good of the same community, which leads to amazing altruism.
I understand that you think there is something better about traveling without community, which you call "alone". However, as you go on to list the places where people know your name, I'd argue that you are never alone but have a community that isn't as easily named as the name CouchSurfing, Missionary, or Volunteer. You have a community, nonetheless. And to be accepted is a good thing.