We drove to the pastry shop and once again had our pain au raisin
and café au lait
. I asked Séussié about the rooster from the day before; he told me it was very delicious. After breakfast we drove to the hospital so Daniel could have a look at that part of Man, but also because I wanted to see if I could find a special health center. I had read that health authorities had set up a crisis center in Man to coordinate efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak from neighboring Guinea and Liberia if it were to jump the border and enter Côte d’Ivoire, which it has not done so far. Several cases in Guinea were fairly close to the border, about 100 miles from Man, several possible cases were in the Nimba province of Liberia, which is right on the border. I asked several people, but no one seemed to know where the center was located, so we decided just to head back to Abidjan.
The road was the same as before. In between discussions of different things including some Church history and the Bible, I read my biography of John Boyd, which I’m finding really fascinating. Any military history buffs reading should have a look at this book by Robert Coram.
We arrived in Yamoussoukro just after noon, driving slowly by the huge Catholic basilica so Daniel could have a look. We stopped at Le Roi once again, for pizza and a hamburger for the expats and rice and chicken for the Ivorians. After our hour-long break we hit the road again and finally arrived back in Abidjan about 4:00 pm. At the hotel I tried to negotiate with Ibrahim. We shouldn’t really have had to pay the full agreed-upon price because his vehicle was unusable during half the most important day we needed it. But he claimed that it wasn’t his fault and he shouldn’t be penalized for an accident that was outside his control. I told him that really was not equitable; it wasn’t our fault either and so on. But he was adamant. So I paid him in full but told him he had lost a client that comes to Côte d’Ivoire frequently. He seemed to feel a few francs in the hand were better than more francs in a future bush, to badly mangle a metaphor….
I let Paul and Séussié go for the night and ask them to come back the next day just after lunch for a leadership seminar, which they were eager to do.
Tuesday was a full day of travel. We were up and ready to go at 07:00. I settled accounts with the hotel and saved the receptionist a nasty surprise. We had used four rooms at the equivalent of $25 dollars each (and they were overpriced, but anyway), including those for Paul and Ibrahim (that's part of the contract). The clerk was sleepy and did the calculations on paper for the four rooms but was only going to charge us for one night instead of two. He was grateful when I corrected the mistake.