Friday, 23 September 2011


I normally get up between 07h00 am and 08h00 and I think that is reasonably early. Apparently it is not so as people here constantly are mocking me about sleeping in the morning. The day before yesterday the fruit woman who comes here three times a week to sell fruit, had a good laugh when I said that I felt a bit sick and that’s why I had been sleeping in this last week. She was laughing loudly and said “oui, bien sûr...”. 

Ok, people here get up at 5h00 am but I don’t. I work best at night, my intellectual abilities are normally on top between 20h00 pm and midnight. Nothing strange about that is there. I would have to adapt if we didn’t have a generator for electricity where I live as there are blackouts all the time but we do. So I work at night, either at home or observing people at the nightclubs although that normally is limited to the weekends. I am apparently a very strange creature but I am quite used to people thinking that.

Yesterday I decided to go out for dinner as I was bored sitting at home, so I had an omelette and a beer at a restaurant really close to the apartment. After I walked a few hundred meters to a bar where there normally is lots of people, ex-pats and Central Africans to see if anyone I know or who might be good to get to know was there. The place was full of people so I thought I’d stand in the bar but the barman suggested I sit down at a table where a guy was sitting by himself so I did. Later his friends showed up, all working for Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF). We had a good time and one of the guys just didn’t stop telling me that I should go to Rwanda instead. I just had to go to Kigali, straight away. I tried to make him understand that I am not doing research on Rwanda but no success. Perhaps it is a sign, next year in Rwanda? 

It was already dark so I asked them if they could drop me off at home afterwards, it is some 500 meters to the apartment from there but not very wise to walk alone at night. They could but then the man in charge showed up. He said no as the insurance wouldn’t cover a person not working for MSF. Ridiculous. We are talking about 500 meters maximum but what to do. I could have walked next to the car for all that I care.  So I thought I’d take a taxi, one second later it started to pour down and there was thunder and lightning. People, goats and taxis disappeared and the road was totally empty. I was the only one left except for the bar woman so I chat with her for a while waiting for the rain to stop. Then one of her friends showed up and she asked him if he could drive me home, so he did but before that we did some club crawling down town. Nice but probably not that wise as I don’t really feel that well.  

Yesterday morning the girl I rent the room from drove me to the French embassy to see the doctor. As there is no health care to talk about in this country the embassy has its own clinic that is open to all Europeans and other Westerners but they are paying more. Got some proper antibiotics and other drugs and I already feel better. I really didn’t dare to tell her that I had medicated myself as she is quite a frightening French woman. She said I was silly who hadn’t come there straight away when I got sick. True that. Hope I’ll be fine in a few days.

As I wrote in the last post I there is some confusion about the focus of the study. I guess I will have to rename it as suggested by Skyttedoktoranden and look at the problems with reforming something that does not exist. I am not saying it is bad, wrong or anything just very difficult and to an ambitious programme might only lead to disappointment. I am meeting with a journalist and man from civil society later today I think it might be interesting. I definitely need to meet people who are not implicated in the SSR process as well to get a grip of the problems and obstacles.

I’ll keep you updated. 

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