The other day I had lunch with some friends in the export business. I slurped my dessert so I could rush off to meet a prospective Sango teacher. The teacher, it turned out, himself had to rush out to meet his next student, who is studying French to facilitate business transactions in the provinces. The student? One of the people with whom I'd lunched. Later, at dinner, I mentioned to my companions that I'd found a room to rent while here in Bangui. They asked where it was, and it became apparent that one of the people at the table, a government minister, is my new landlord.