Too Dry, Too Wet, Too Quiet

Another week in Cotonou.  Let’s see how it went…

Last weekend, the city shut off all the water for two days so they could repair one road.  Don’t ask me how all the water for the city runs under this one road, but it does.  We did get 24 hours warning, so we could fill tubs and set aside drinking water in pitchers and jugs.  Unfortunately,  was in Lagos for those 24 hours, so when I got home, all i had was what was in the distiller storage tank.  The toilets flushed once.  The only reassuring thing was that everyone was in the same boat, so nobody expected you to shower before visiting for dinner.  Finally, late Sunday night, the water came back on.  I celebrated by staying up most of the night watching the Olympics on AFRTS.

Monday morning (Presidents’ Day) I went to turn on the Olympics to discover my AFRTS was gone.  Well to be fair, it was cutting in and out every 10 seconds or so.  So, no Olympics, except the one hour wrapup that runs almost continuously on the South African satellite TV.  Priorities being elsewhere (our American Cultural Center had no phones or internet most of the week), they didn’t get to look at my AFRTS until Friday afternoon.  They spent a couple of hours trying to reaim my dish (why would it have moved overnight?) before deciding it needed a new LNB…not available until Monday, so no Olympics this weekend either.

The doors were open to the outside while all this was going on, and apparently that overworked the ac in my tv room, which froze up its outlet port. The net thing I knew, there as water spilling out all over my computer. I’m still trying to get the keyboard to work right. It may need to be replaced.



Filed under Foreign Service Stuff

5 responses to “Too Dry, Too Wet, Too Quiet

  1. Terry & Linda

    Want to consult with Magilla or or one of the other Woovit engineers to check out that AFRTS reception problem? (Try a piano wire out the window.)

    Just wanted to let you know how much we’ve enjoyed dropping in periodically to read installments of Rich’s Adventures in Diplomacy. We would’ve bet anything that destiny would have involved a different federal agency with more galactic purview. You’re still exploring “strange new worlds,” just a different kind of voyage!

  2. rkolker


    It’s great to hear from you guys. I’ve done some Google searches from time to time trying to track you down. Keep in touch. I mentioned Magilla when I was on WUVT at the reunion about 18 months ago. I commented probably nobody has called him that in 30 years.

    For a while, I ended up working right behind the press stand from where Magilla, Lee Gregory and I covered Apollo 16.

  3. Oh my goodness. I sincerely hope that your keyboard is okay.

    I can’t even imagine what you would have to go through in order to get it replaced. Hope you don’t have to do that!

  4. rkolker

    My keyboard didn’t make it :-(. The good folks in the IMO office loaned me one until the new one arrives through the pouch. I could probably find one locally, there are computer stores here. That’s one thing to understand about Cotonou. You can find most things, but it may cost extra, the selection may be less and it may be hard to find the right place to buy it.

  5. It’s Friday, and that means that the Second Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up – and you’re on it!

    Here is the link:

    (If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)


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