The surprise last chapter of my moms visit.

I wished my mom would stay, as we packed up her stuff and prepared for her departure last week. We weighed out the number of bronze sculptures I could cram into her bag without an extra charge, we called and e-mailed friends on the other side, bought dried mangos and little roots to snack on on the plane and set off to the airport, with an hour and a half to spare. Our taxi driver was a benovelent idiot and drove around the airport looking for the door for half an hour before we just opened up the door on the moving taxi and dragged the giant clanking bags of bronze inside ourselves. We werent worried, as this tiny airport hosts all of probably 2 international flights a day. There was a barracade of policemen at the gate. You are only one hour early they said, you must be two hours early. We laughed at the charade of formality that makes sence in JFK but is absurd here. But when we realized they werent joking, rage boiled up in me. “Why are you policemen?” I yelled, “You just love ruining peoples plans?” This was not the right tactic, obviously. My brother Finn once sat me down when he was visiting me in Africa and said, “Maria, you cant get in a big dick compitition with giant argumenitive men in their own country. It wont work.” But some things you know logically, but cant act on. I just dont like things I think are unfair.
Long and short, we drove back home that night a bit shocked. The next morning, we went to the AirFrance Office, and discovered there were no planes with space for a week. My wish was answered, but wasnt what either of us expected. That very day, we got out the map, made haisty plans, and set off to the border of Cote-di ivoir.  We left in a bus and mom fell into a coma-like stuper. She has a knack at falling into dead sleep on airplanes, before they even take off. Aparently whatever chemicals it takes to make this possible hadnt gotten the memo and this was happening in spite of the fact that she was not actually on an airplane. She borded and exited the bus like a happy zombie, and didnt really come to until the next morning, in a hotel in Bobo Djellasso. We got in a new bus, aiming for waterfalls to the south, and spent a day romping in water, drinking a local palm tree based alcohal, and riding around in a boat looking at hippopotomuses. Things were looking up.
The next day we went out to the village of my friend Yanik, where everyone thinks I am married into the family and, and we were greated with violence towards a guinnie-foul, who’s throat was slit in our vegitarian honer. I pleaded with my eyes towars my mom, who did her best on the skinny bird, thank god. We were then walked around the village, bowing and greeting. In this village people speak neither french nor Jula, but their own language. This isnt a big village. No electricity. And they have a language all to themselves.
Mom did a number on the whole day with her camera. If you know her, ask her for a slideshow if she ever returnes to the US. We slept in the village and then spent a day climbing around on pointy rocks and seeing anciant villages. We did this by hiring a car, which broke down twice, off roaded around a GIANT fallen tree once and drove 10 miles on a completely flat tire to get us to the bus back to Bobo. From there, we returned to Ouaga, grateful to the policemen for blocking our entrance last week. This time, my mom with be at the airport three hours early…



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2 responses to “The surprise last chapter of my moms visit.

  1. Brett Poirier

    What a caper! I love the Michaelson women!

  2. Prue Kaye

    You are the greatest! So hoping to see you for the june wedding in Massachusetts. What a different world that that will be! lots of love, Baba

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