My final months in Abidjan (for now) were busy and exhausting. On my very last day, however, Abidjan provided me with not one, but two gifts in the form of #AnimalAdvertising.
Near my home:
And on the route to the airport!
Seems fitting that ridiculous animal advertising (about chicken, no less) greeted me upon arrival to Abidjan and bid me farewell.
The three 2014–2015 Fulbrighters left in Cote d'Ivoire (one student – me – and two public policy fellows – Erica and Laura) threw a pretty great 4th of July Party for all our non-American friends, complete with a poolside BBQ, hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, chips and guacamole, brownies, Coronas, and classic rock music. A bit expensive, considering all our food had to be purchased from the expensive supermarket because it was imported, but totally worth it.
I love living outside the U.S., but there are some traditions I miss. Next year, I'll see what I can do about the softball tournament and fireworks.
Seriously, what a great party.
I've been spending a bit of time over the past few weeks at a couple of maquis because fellow PhD polisci student Marion is in town. She's the only other PhD student that I know here (and I'm making the distinction between PhD and master's student, of which there are a number – from SAIS, Geneva, Oxford – doing their international development fieldwork).
So we've been discussing our dissertation (and advisor) troubles over beers, poulet braisé, alloco, and frites, just like the maquis gods intended.
Wartime Hymns just posted a description and political context of Abidjan's maquis, though I admit to not really staying late enough to experience the dancing. Even without the music and dancing, I love the general culture of sitting outside, though not under the sun, drinking a bit with friends or colleagues, people watching, eating, more drinking, more eating, and more people watching – and on the cheap. I think maquis will be one of the things I miss the most when I leave Abidjan.
In an inauguration of my new site and blog and in preparation for the fieldwork to come, a few of my favorite photos from last summer in Dakar:
Travel and research notes
Fieldwork and travel in Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Mali, as well as Burkina Faso, Morocco, Tanzania, South Africa, and wherever else I end up. Plus occasional research-related thoughts. And now ... Teaching!