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May, 2010:

Banana flowering

The rainy season is nearing its end but today is day of rain, a lot of rain. The plants are happy for this because they appear not to be ready for the long drought. The most obvious are the bananas of which one is actually flowering. At this moment the bunch has six hands with each about 12 fingers, so 72 bananas. You can see this on the picture below. In principle there could be other hands hidden in the flower that might be revealed tomorrow or so, but I think this is it. I am quite excited and hope the monkeys will not devour the bananas like they have done with all other edible plants (except for the red peppers).
Flowering banana (plantain)
Flowering banana (plantain)

Social departures

Lunch at Caroline’s place on a nice Sunday afternoon. Tarek loved the sea and Maya got quite wet trying to save him while running enthusiastically at full speed into the waves. Families of new colleagues (from IITA Uganda) were also present. Danny already started and Fen will come in June, good company. Happy to get something alive again in a mostly dead office.
Might be the last time here as Caroline is now definitely leaving to Belize at the beginning of July. Such a shame, many of our friends have already left (Claudia & Harry) or are leaving (Dolar & Marjan, Suzanne & Josephine, Anne & Rommert?). Alan explained me the 3 year expat-cycle. Most contracts are 2 to 3 years. New people start to hang out, just like people with common interests hang out together. So if you are relatively new you lose friends. Some people extend their contract and stay for another 2 to 3 years (Kristian & Christel).When you stick around long enough you do not notice anymore because you hang around with people who stick around. So it goes.
Who knows why we only hang around with expats. I have had this discussion quite a few times with expats who also only hang around with expats. We talked about racism, snobbism and capitalism but there does not seem to be a distinct reason. At the end it is often agreed upon that it must be cultural or wealth related.

Internet connection

After more than two weeks it looks like out internet connection is up and running again. To quote a very popular toddler phrase: Wow!

A productive Saturday

A productive Saturday. After Tareks morning nap we went to the IST for a Table Top Sale. Here we bought quite some nice toys and books for Tarek. Afterwards we did shopping and bought gas and drinking water. Tomato soup for lunch. With Alfons, a cutting session in the Garden. All were happy with the result, even neighbour Roland.