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a Note from a Friend

By Prodenbough
Today I was going to write an update about my new site, but that can wait a few days. Some things are just more important than how I'm getting along in a new village.When I was on administrative leave, I met a good friend of Norbert's named Vincent, whom he had known since childhood. Vincent hosted Norbert and I for a while, and I have nothing but kind things to say about him. We have since stayed in contact. Vincent currently lives in Adibjan, where he is a high school history teacher. I received the following message from him on facebook today."salut philippe, comment vas tu. ici a abidjan ca va pas la crise post electorale fait ravage. nous avons quitté le quartier les rebelle ont pris le quartier de violent combat depuis mi fevrièr. la population souffre nous sommes refugiés chez des amis. pas de vetement, rien. c'est avec un desespoir que je t'ecris."rough translation: "hello phil. how are you. here in abidjan it is not going well. the political crisis is wrecking havoc. we have left my neighborhood. the rebels have taken over that neighborhood with violent combat, fighting since mid february. the population suffers. we are finding refuge with friends. we have nothing [but the clothes on our back]. it is with despair that I write you."What's more, Norbert (who is in Ouaga) says that he has been in contact with his family in Abidjan, and that they are unable to leave the street where they live, where they are barricaded in.When you don't know anyone involved, it's so easy for things like the news coming out of Abidjan to go in one ear and out the other. When you've met them, shared meals with them, shared a house with them, been recipients of their personal hospitality... it's really, really hard.I responded to Vincent that I was very sad to hear his news, and that I hope it gets better soon. Du courage. What more can I do? What more can I do?

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