Oh, French. Nothing like necessity to help one learn a language in a jiffy. Many have asked how it's going French-wise and here it is in a nutshell. At first, it wasn't pretty. Pronunciation was a bit of a disaster and, as Henry loved to point out, the "bon" of my bonjour did sound a little Bon Jovi-ish and my merci seemed more like a surrender. At present, things are gelling a bit, pronunciation is back on track, and I can actually understand and converse with people here without total embarassment. I practice with our domestique (our housekeeper) and even though I am limited to present tense at the moment, things are definitely looking up. Henry still leaves me in the dust speaking French but at least I no longer have a blank stare when someone directs words my way. So overall, French is going ok but I still have a long long way to go before I am fluent. For example, the other day on the river walk, one of the Congolese soldiers said something to me about either wanting to "eat my dog" or "feed my dog" and that's a pretty important distinction that I will need to learn.