14 Comments

What a magnificent story. A lot had changed in the 20 years since you were in West Africa, but I was a PCV in Benin in the mid-90s. My weird-connection-back-home story took place on a long train ride, in a remote rail yard outside Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. We had traveled overnight, either heading to or coming from Victoria Falls on our "close of service" trip, before returning home. A young child was running alongside the train, waiving a newspaper at me that had written in enormous font as the headline "OJ Innocent". It took me a moment to realize this was in reference to OJ Simpson, who was on trial at the time in the US - we later determined that 19 hours had passed since the verdict was issued. The world was already getting smaller!

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Thanks, John. Don’t think we ever met, but I remember hearing your name often in pcv circles. Brings back memories of well digging projects (did some w Bob McGurn) during la secheresse. But, Pink Floyd, Far side of a the moon, in the bled?

Awesome. - cheers, Frank Donovan (aka Doudou Diallo)

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founding

you are fucking kidding me...that's amazing

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My introduction to that album was a similar revelatory experience, but that was only psychedelics speaking (kidding. At a party at my girlfriend's house, I stopped everything I was doing or saying and listened intently. Her family thought I was nuts).

I loved this story. Thank you, John.

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founding

_Dark Side of the Moon_ was a kick in the head the first time I heard it at Frank's house. I can't imagine what it must have been like in the middle of the desert after months of withdrawal from Western media.

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Wonderful story, John! Can’t believe I stumbled across this. Reading it made lots of Sahel memories flood back. I actually met you once in Podor in ‘75 or ‘76. I was the English teacher at the CEG and we must have met on the road as I was walking home past the post office. We were talking and you said something in Pulaar to one of the bystanders and I never heard the end of it because you spoke so well! But it was a good thing because if one American could learn Pulaar, they thought, there was hope for me. Best regards, Karen Fisher aka Coumba Thiam

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Great story!

Two typos, one in the song was / wash

And one in the before last sentence recored / record.

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