When I posted the photo below a couple of days ago, I didn’t really intend for it to go with whatever I was going to post next.  But I got lucky.

We just put our boys to bed after our weekly pizza and a movie night.  It was just before 8;00 p.m.  Although it’s Friday night, tomorrow is a school day.  We missionaries do our best to be unconventional.  Just as Jeremy was brushing his teeth before going to bed, he told me what happened on the way to school this morning.

“This morning on the way to school, I didn’t go through the cité; I just went straight.”

That might take a little explanation.  It’s pretty much a straight shot from our house to the building our team rented to use as a school.  But it’s a bumpy, often muddy dirt road.  With a little detour, Jeremy can ride most of the way on a quiet paved street that only has a few potholes.  This is in the cité, a housing development originally built for our local cement factory.  What makes this cité road even more attractive is the fact that the direct route has had huge mounds of dirt dumped in it.  They’ve been sitting there for a couple of weeks; we can only assume that a road grader is going to come through sometime to spread out the dirt to fill in the mud holes that have become bogs in the middle of that street.

But Jeremy decided to go the straight route.  He continued with his story.

“I ran over a chicken.  I killed it.  It died.”

“Was it a baby chick or a big chicken?,” I asked.

“It was about this big,” he replied, holding his hand about nine inches off the floor.

“It was kind of on purpose and kind of on accident,” he confessed.  “It was between the dirt pile and the side of the road.  I didn’t want to run off the road, so I ran over the chicken.”

I laughed until I almost cried.  Jeremy told me I shouldn’t laugh.  I told him that I wasn’t laughing at him, but at the chicken.

“Josiah says that every chicken belongs to someone,” Jeremy reminded me.

“I know it does, but they should keep their chickens out of the road,” I said, knowing full well that this is a totally foreign concept in West Africa and that I was being ethnocentric for even thinking it.

As Stephen, our team’s 7-year old bird watcher reminded me recently, “The chicken is the most common bird in Togo.”

At least Jeremy didn’t threaten an endangered species.

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