Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Family Pique-Nique

The Sunday I was feverish, which seems like eons ago, we went to a picnic at the Peace Corps Director’s house.

Although they don’t have children, they invited all the families they know. From newborns to highschoolers, the kids attend the Belgian school, French school, American School, British school and homeschool. Many spoke English, more spoke French, a bunch spoke other languages too.
I curled up in a chair and sipped Sprite while Ian made the rounds, but one gentleman stood with us for a while. His family is from Belgium and they are here with the West African Development Bank. Oddly enough, he’s posted to Togo but there are no WADB projects in Togo, he has projects in all the surrounding countries. Togo could use the help but the local government isn’t interested so… anyway.
Conversations between the newly introduced generally follow a pattern. Because we were at a family picnic, it started with where we’re from, followed by small talk about the families/kids/schools, moved on to what brought us to Togo, and progressed to our previous posts. (Actually, this pattern is common in many informal settings.) Well, they’re from Belgium, I already mentioned, and his two boys attend the Belgian School. They’ve moved every year for the past 3 years and are hoping to stay here for 2-3 years to let their boys settle in a bit. Their last post was… the Philippines. You can imagine the rest of the conversation…. What school did the kids go to, where did you live, etc. Well, the boys didn’t attend ISM, instead they went to the European International School (or something like that). And where did they live? Dasmariñas Village. They lived two streets behind us, and they’re boys played at our playground. I took a closer look, and yes, their younger son especially I remember.
Manila to Lomé between 2004-2005. Can the world get any smaller?

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