It's been a busy week so far. Jess and I traveled to Garoua on Sunday, which has its high points and low points - good food, electricity and internet, but a long, cramped voyage both ways. Touristique (the travel agency) pretty much screwed us over because not enough buses were available for all the tickets back to Maroua they had sold for the day - their solution was to cram 42 of us into a 30 passenger bus. Awesome.
On a lighter note, we did see our friends over at Chez Lyna (the restaurant owners we met on the train), and without a word they sent all 6 of us free dessert and gave us a ride back to our hotel in Garoua. They won't be there when Jess and I are passing through in August, but we plan to leave them our email addresses and some pictures of the project.
We also got to watch a thunderstorm roll in as we pulled into Maroua, which made for a beautiful light show. Jess and I had an excellent dinner at the Artisanat restaurant just outside of town (filet de boeuf with crème sauce and potatoes), and got to sleep in an air conditioned room! Yessssss!
This morning, we met with Heifer International, which is excited to work with my project and provide plans and training contact for anyone interested in learning about the vehicle in the future. They also suggested some other local people who would likely be interested in getting involved, so Jess and I will check that out soon too. I can't believe how quickly things are taking off! I'm buying the bicycle for parts today at the market, and if the weather isn't inclement tomorrow, we'll be starting to cut and weld! It's been very hot yesterday and today, so it may rain tomorrow, but we'll see.
We have a full weekend planned, as Friday is July 4 (hey, if I don't get to see firefworks, I'm at least having a burger, even if I have to make the ketchup from scratch), and there is a going-away party for a friend here in Maroua Saturday. We hope to have the vehicle finished in the next few weeks, and spend the end of July and beginning of August testing it and getting feedback from the people in different communities in the area. Exciting stuff.
On a side note, the Larium dreams have been weird and hilarious (thankfully not terrifying at any point yet). Malaria meds can be a bit psychoactive, and cause really vivid, very real dreams - to the extent that you can't tell they're dreams until you wake up. I've dreamt about just about anything, from showering in a restaurant bathroom (odd) to fixing the ever-problematic JJ crimper at Bucyrus Lamp Plant with a new design. Yes, I still dream about work. I suppose it's a sign that I do miss my job that I considered that a good dream, and not a bad one.
At any rate, life is good, and things are progressing nicely. More later.