I remember a couple of years ago when gas prices over the summer went through the roof. I was here on the ship, watching the news from Liberia, but I heard people were getting pretty worked up about it all.
Here in Togo, we do things a little differently.
Gas prices went up almost fifteen cents a litre the other night, and taxi drivers here in Lome have reacted badly. There's nothing to worry about for those of us on the ship, but out in the streets there are barricades and burning tires and flipped cars. We're not sure how much longer it'll go on, but our security team is doing an outstanding job of ensuring that not only crew but also day volunteers are safe.
To that end, there is a massive slumber party down in C Ward tonight. The translators who live too far away to get home safely are being housed in the empty ward, pillows and mattresses and blankets all over the place. It feels like being a nurse during a massive snowstorm. You know you can't call in sick, and you know there's no way you can make it home and back again in twelve hours, so you sleep at the hospital. Everything feels different after hours, like you're somehow home but in the middle of a grand adventure.
There's only one real answer to a ward full of translators, once the excitement and despair over the Ghana game has died down; pop some popcorn, throw on a movie and break out the soda. Unfortunately, I've fallen victim to the same cold that has Tani coughing her dear brains out (which is hardly surprising, considering she spends her days wrapped around my head), so I haven't been able to take part in the festivities as much as I would like.
Outside, the tires may be burning, but down in C Ward, they're just having a big old party. Reason #257 I love this life.