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I thought I'd continue my African habits here and refuse to go out at midday so here I am with a heavenly super-fast DSL connection.

Last night shower's revived me a bit so I took a walk around. I ended up going to the local CVS (the local pharmacy & miscelleanous store) and wandered around inside for two hours. Two hours, folks. It was a nice walk on a balmy evening. My friend's house is in of those transitional neighborhoods so it was interesting to see what houses and streets are being gentrified - or not. She told me that last year her immediate neighbor (ie sharing a wall) was raided last year for drug dealing. Her kitchen is being renovated so she only has a microwave and a fridge; I see this as a culinary challenge in the same category as the sickly Peace Corps volunteer I hosted in Bamako who couldn't chew. (I made applesauce, lentil soup, mango sorbet, and poached eggs - I've never worked my blender so much.)

Overall it was a good trip coming over but long and of course it's always just so difficult travelling in Africa in general. I kept telling myself, "I'll be fine once I get on the plane." And it was especially as I got some sleep and the flight was only half full. There was a group of wide-eyed Rwandan women, some Baptist missionaries from Texas Tech University (I thought there were Peace Corps volunteers at first but then decided they looked too wholesome and virginal), and a number of French or Italian couples with Burkinabe babies. (Burkina Faso has an agreement with several European countries for adoption but not with the US.) I was surprised that "Brokeback Mountain" was on offer as an in-flight movie. I could imagine some poor Burkinabe tuning in thinking that it would be all about...cowboys, as it were.

Unfortunately the Paris-CDG airport has shown little improvement since last year except that now the hard plastic chairs have thin cushions. The plane arrived at 6:30am and I went ahead to the other terminal, and found that the electronics shop and the sunglasses boutique were open but not the fast food restaurant or the magazine stand. Hello?
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On June 23rd, 2006 04:03 pm (UTC), congogirl commented:
I did what you did in CVS when I got back, only we went to Whole Foods. Oh. My. Lord. It was heavenly and distracting, and increased my love/hate relationship with consumerism 10-fold.
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On June 24th, 2006 03:41 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I figure it's my patriotic duty to spend money...not that anyone can tell that the US is at war without look at the papers.
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On June 25th, 2006 04:21 am (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
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On June 24th, 2006 03:40 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
And the worst thing is that I've actually improved since returning from Peace Corps, when I'd simply burst into tears.
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On July 5th, 2006 04:46 pm (UTC), congogirl replied:
Hah. Where did you do PC? I meant to but never did, because once I was done with my MPH, I thought it would be better to make money. I am not sure that I made the best choice at this point, since now I have student loans AND consumer debt... oh well!
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On June 25th, 2006 04:24 am (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Whole Foods
Have you seen this article in the New Yorker?

PARADISE SOLD: What are you buying when you buy organic?
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On June 24th, 2006 05:10 am (UTC), flemmarde commented:
cdg is incredible isn't it? it's so darned big, and then when i got to my gate the other day, there were about 20 seats and not much more space to accomodate a 747 full of people. it was a nightmare, cheek by jowl and everyone blocking the shops.
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On July 5th, 2006 10:54 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I was a PCV in Cameroon in 1993-95. I wish I'd gotten an MPH or a MEd afterwards but I didn't think I qualified and now I know I did! My grad degree is generally useless....
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On July 7th, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC), congogirl replied:
I don't know. My friends and I that have MPH's think they are useless unless they complement something else, like a clinical/business/law degree.
On July 27th, 2006 09:04 am (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
oh man, you are all confusing me. i already have a degree like sylvia's and now want to get an MPH.
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