Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 3: Social Chess

Dear readers,

I think I'm getting enough Vitamin D. Despite it being the rainy season, I've seen mostly sun. I'm getting darker by the minute.

Yesterday, I was a little dizzy and tingly from the first half of my mefloquin pill (I'm cutting them in half and taking them twice a week instead of one pill once a week to reduce the side effects). Today I'm doing alright.

I met me old ECOWAS coworkers--looks like ECOWARN has been expanding, and had a lovely dinner put together by my hostess and my old friend, Alice.

I'm working on half a dozen items for a meeting tonight with the boss of all my bosses, Governor Silva of Bayelsa. His influence is absolutely critical for the success of this project. So far, he's been very supportive and this project is his baby (and the brainchild of many people in the Ministry of Finance, World Bank, Columbia University and New America Foundation).

I've decided to call the diverse and convoluted social interactions of Nigeria as 'social chess.' Its an artform, a game, can be well-played or not. Its not all about money or influence, it is also about respect, charm and even a certain realpolitick.

Either way, I'm going to have to participate in all this, but NOT become one of the players of this game, OR become a piece with which to bargain, right?

Hope all of you are well,

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