Aanae's Birthday

Trip Start Jan 22, 2008
Trip End Nov 27, 2008

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Flag of Central African Republic  ,
Sunday, February 3, 2008

It's pretty amazing here overall. The temperature is hotter in the day and colder at night and far more humid than it was in Bangui. There is also less haze from smoke and less of a smoky smell in the air. At night you can see many more stars, you can even see Mars and the occasional satellite crossing the sky. The night is amazing here the sounds of the forest coming alive are almost overwhelming. Frogs, birds, insects, and the distinct sound of bats echo locating is simply awe-inspiring. The word awesome is so over used in our lexicon that it doesn't do this place justice but that is truly what it is. Our first day here there were a pair of mustache monkeys not 30 feet from our cabin. I saw kingfishers, the biggest bees I could have ever imagined, and dined with bats flying through the rafters eating the bugs that were drawn to our light. This morning we ate breakfast with a pair of Debrazis monkeys while Bantu's and Bayaka guided their pirogue's down the river. Last night we heard Bayaka singing at their village down the river, which the sun sets perfectly on each night. So far I have been pretty stunned and I can see why people fall in love with this place so quickly. Despite all the hardships it really is worth it to come here.
Yesterday Lesley received several visits from people around the village (kodro). Word spread pretty fast of her return. Many people are very excited and happy that she is back and while some are looking to her as a source of employment, overall they seem genuinely happy to see her.
Today was Aanae's 3rd birthday. The kitchen denied other guests omelets in the morning so that they could have enough eggs to make Aanae a birthday cake. It was a small thing to have a cake but a big one as well. It was nice to have that bit of tradition available for her to enjoy. We brought decorations from the U.S. to make the atmosphere festive. Streamers, glitter, balloons, and a banner, all made Aanae very happy. She didn't care at all that there were no presents, save 1 ball. She had a great time anyway. It surprised us when she asked if Jean Bosco would be at her party (he was at Evan's), we told her sorry because he was very far away. Overall it was a very nice birthday indeed.
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