Top Ten Life Lessons Learned while in Cote d'Ivoire...PG-13

(this is my pastor's daughter - she's a sweetie and was born while we were here)

1. It is not appropriate to fill up the "sitti daga" (aka pitcher of water substitute for toilet paper) over the family water source. Apparently that's a 'no no'...

2. Anything that runs in considered appropriate for public transportation, doors and windows not required.

3. Getting up at 6am to wash dishes with your sisters speaks volumes, starting a water fight speaks more....

4. Don't want to learn Senoufo...too bad. Papa is going to harrass you every minute until you can count to 20 and name all the body parts. Don't worry, its worth it in the end.

5. Cockroaches really aren't that bad, but its still ok if you have to poop on the side of the church because you're too afraid of the latrine. No one goes on that side anyways.

6. In a culture of modesty, its not uncommon to see a lady whip our her breast in the middle of market to feed her two year old kid. Also, shaving not required - its not worth it.

7. Pagnes. Pieces of patterned fabric. Genius. Skirt-blanket-towel-scarf-dress-shirt-tissue-bandage-all-in-one. Dear America: let's do this.

8. Greeting old women in their own language will bring the biggest smile to both of your faces, you might want to brush your teeth in the morning.

9. Nothing EVER happens on time. Leave the watch at home; bring a good book.

10. Being a white woman means you need to be modest, every moto driver will ask for your number and your hand in marriage. Its ok, you CAN say no - and it doesn't hurt if you have a burly mustasched dude for a leader.