Doumandzou is like many Gabonese villages where some the basic needs can always be found. In this case chez Genvieve is one of two places in the village where you can get cans of mackerel, matches, tomato paste and of course a couple varieties of soft drinks and Regab.
While sitting around the small tables in the enclosed veranda, you can also shoot the breeze, wait for some form of transport to take you from the centre du monde, or in our case this evening, celebrate with our most steady worker, Nico, on the near completion of the school. We heard the distant thunder and saw the lightening and soon we weren’t leaving, just waiting for the storm to pass. It didn’t right away and Genieve ended up loaning us an umbrella and flashlight to get home.
We got home to find the television on (the generator was running) and our host watching her favorite South African soap opera. This time she was alone, but normally there would be several children from the extended family on the floor or the sofa. Our house Is a bit unusual since it belongs to the most important man in Doumandzou, but there are five generators in village and probably 10 TV sets. During the African Cup soccer tournament they were all tuned to that, but after there are Sesame Street type shows that Nico says his daughter watches and learns to count. The dichotomy between the ads on the screen and life in the village seems bizarre to us but does not seem to phase folks here though it is not the type of discussion you plunge into.