"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

8.03.2007

last day

My phone rang at 5:52 this morning.

Those of you who know me know that I am most definitely not a morning person. I work best in the afternoon and evening, and try to arrange my teaching schedule accordingly. This semester, for example, is going to be perfect, because my classes start at noon and later.

Congo doesn't work that way. People here wake up when the sun rises. Which happens quickly. There's very little twilight in the evening, and very little dawn in the morning. One moment it's dark, the next, it's light. And vice-versa.

So of course Anne Marie thought it would be no problem to call at 5:52am. I didn't answer. I still need to call her back. I guess this is what it is to have good friends in Congo.

Today is my last day here for awhile. For the first time in two years, I have no idea when I'll be back. It could be a year, it could be two, it could be five. Last night I had dinner chez Lusi. Jo told me not to come back without a PhD.

Anyway, like all last days everywhere, I'm busy running around, trying to do one last interview, buy the books and maps I'll need at home, and say good-bye to people. (True to form, my 9:30 interview asked to postpone to 3. This is after he postponed our meeting a month ago because he left town for 4 weeks. It'll be amazing if this one actually gets done. Ah, Congo.) By 10:30am, I'd been all over town twice. And I've only done half of what I need to do. Not to mention packing.

I leave on the first bus out tomorrow morning. And while I'm sad to say good-bye to so many friends here, I'm really, really ready to be gone. It's time.

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