day one hundred twenty four b

Random election notes for the day:

There are Maaouya tents all over the place. They are all playing music and there are people hanging out underneath. So far I have seen one tent for another candidate and that was out in the cinquieme. Coming between my house and the university I pass a place where there are three tents side by side on one side of the road and two on the other. I also pass a new billboard that was put up just for the Maaouya sign that is on it.

It is interesting to see, but at the same time a little sad. Just given the quantity of stuff that is out I don’t see how it is not being subsidized by the government. Even if it isn’t the spending is so incredibly uneven that the concept of a “balanced election” seems impossible.

Carl and Marc went to one of the opposition candidates tents and asked if they could get posters. The guy asked him what paper they were with and when they said they were just looking for posters he led them around
and up the stairs to a little room with a bunch of guys in it. A guy spoke to them in English and said something along the lines of “we have to be careful, I spent four months in jail in Kaédi for campaigning against Maaouya.” Carl said, “but things have changed now, right?” To which he replied, “this was last year.”

So, election time fun.

They are giving out Maaouya shirts and caps and the latest fashion craze is a moulafa with a Maaouya baseball cap. (A moulafa is essentially just a long piece of cloth which is wrapped around and goes over the head. (Generally covering the head, but not the face.))

I am contemplating a website to host journals like this of PC people. One of the things it will have to be able to do is keep some entries more private than others. We are supposed to not be political at all or speak publicly about the local political process without having it reviewed first. I don’t disagree with the policy really since we are all identified as a group and one person could get us kicked out of the country. At the same time I want to be able to speak openly with my friends and family back home.

Love,
Will

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