Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Near the beginning of August when Kathy & I took a week off work, we visited a few of the guesthouses around Ouaga, just to see what there was, what the facilities were like, and how much they cost. One of the most interesting places we saw was Princess Yennenga Lodge right in the heart of the city, though you wouldn’t know it once you were inside the gates. Not only did it have an interesting decor and a relaxing atmosphere, but two of the guest suites were so unique that we decided this would be a good place to come for our anniversary.

It almost didn’t happen.

First of all, I forgot to call for a reservation until just a few days before the event! When I finally did call, I was informed that both of those unique guest suites were already booked :( I left my number in case there was a cancellation, but in my head began running through all the possible excuses I could give Kathy to explain why we were going to stay somewhere else. To my immense surprise, less than 15 minutes later, I received a call asking for further details of our stay. The man said he’d see what he could do. And less than 10 minutes after that, we had a reservation. Whew!

We made plans to go there on Sunday afternoon. It was only for one night, so we wanted to get our money’s worth and get as much time there as possible. Normally we don’t have a guard at home on Sundays because we like to have at least one day a week at home without someone virtually right outside our window all day (when we’re at work, who cares?). So I arranged for someone to come at noon on Sunday. So far, so good.

However, our regular night guard was on holiday, which means we needed to find a replacement for him for Sunday night. Our regular replacement guard didn’t want to work on Sunday night. So I asked the guy who was coming to guard the place on Sunday afternoon if he’d be willing to stay all night too. Unfortunately, he had other plans for that evening.

I hated to do it, but in desperation decided to call our regular night guard to see if he would come in exchange for an extra day off. No answer on his cell phone.

I called our Centre manager to see if he knew anyone who could come. He had a cousin that he thought could do the job. But when he called him, it turned out that he was already doing guard duty at someone else’s house.

This was not looking good. By now it was nearly 3 p.m. and time was slipping by. Kathy did not look happy and began wondering if we could cancel the reservation. In desperation, I wracked my brains trying to think of someone, anyone, that I could call. I began mentally going through my list of friends. Aristide... no, he had to work the next day. Besides, he wasn’t the kind to do guard duty. DesirĂ©... uh-uh, he had a family that would want him there for the night. He lived kind of far away too. Ghana? Not likely. He had kids at home too and their mother was away...

Wait a minute! Zacharie! He lived close by and he did shift work at a toll booth on the Po road... I wonder if he’s on or off tonight? I called him. Hallelujah, he’d gotten off work that morning and wasn’t on again until Tuesday morning! Would he come and be a night guard for us for Sunday night? He thought he could, but had to check with his wife at home first. He’d call me back.

Fifteen minutes later, he called me back. He’d gotten home only to find that his wife wasn’t back from choir practice after church yet. But he was pretty sure she wouldn’t have a problem with it. However, he didn’t know where I lived. So I agreed to meet him at the SIL Centre and show him the way from there.

When he arrived, he had another man on the moto with him. Turns out it’s his younger brother, a local university student. Zacharie proposed that he be the one to do guard duty since he himself was pretty beat for being on duty at the toll booth all the previous night. To be honest, at this point, I would have taken anyone! I gave him a few instructions, told him I’d settle accounts with him later, packed our stuff and Kathy in the truck and took off before anything else happened to sabotage our plans!

We had a great anniversary :)

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