Saturday, October 10, 2009

Apres a month at site...

First of all, because I meant to do this long ago, shout out to Evan's mom who I've heard frequents this part of the internet occaisionally...Hope Evan's doing well up North and that I get to see him again soon!

Okay, sorry for the shameless shout out...I'd do many others if I had the time and energy but that one was promised a few months back. :)

So, anyways, I guess I should start to try to describe a bit of my life in vilage. here's a typical day:

[Schedule format, anyone?]

5:30 or 6:00am - Rise in shine in my pop-up mosquito tent in the family courtyard next to about 10 kids and a few adults who are probably, if they're female, already milling about getting ready to prepare breakfast and do other household chores. Pack up the goods from the night before to put back in the house (pillow, blanket, books, journal, flashlight, toilet paper). Feed the kittens...

6:15am - Take my bucket bath with coldish water, sweep out the whole house and courtyard (it's reassuring to know there aren't any bugs around), make some coffee on the stove, eat a little breakfast, and curl up with a magazine that someone amazing has sent me for a good little taste of the USA...

7am - Realize the time has flown by and I have yet to greet anyone in the family intelligably. Recitfy that by greeting every single person I see around the compound in either Gurunsi/Nuni or Moore depending on what ethnicity they are (still pretty bad at guessing that if I don't know the person). Get my butt moving and ready to head off to "work".

7:30am - On the bike furiously pedaling through the deliciously cool morning breeze. Greeting the regular groups of people on the route that I love (the three sisters who sell rice, my carpenter, my bread guy, my banana-lady tantie, etc) while avoiding the ones that hiss at me or call me Nasara (local name for white person) or, worse yet, straight up "La Blanche".

7:40am - Arrive at school and watch the kids play while chatting with teachers until classes start (they're supposed to begin at 7:30am...but we're in West Africa, so things are more laid-back and, thus, start later than planned).

7:50am - Head off to class with everyone else and watch the happenings - which aren't much since it's only been a week of school and materials are still being destributed

10am - Break time! Grab some snacks that ladies are selling near the school (bread with fishy/oniony oil on it - yum! - or caramels)

10:30 or 10:40 - Back to class to watch the lessons some more

12pm - Bike back to the house, stopping by the market on the way to buy veggies like tomatoes, green peppers, cabbage, and cucumbers for lunch...maybe a salad? some pasta? some beans and rice? (This is where the spices I get from the states come in reallly handy)

12:30pm till 3pm - Wash dishes, maybe do laundry, sit out under the tree with the family and read/relax. Maybe play some Uno with the kids. Here are some of those kids...

3:30pm - Head back over to the school or to the Provincial Basic Education Office (depending on where there's more "work" to do) to chat with the teachers or govt officials about anything and everything...

5 or 6pm - Head back home to have some leftovers or maybe some To (local staple food consisting of pulverized then thickened grains dipped in a sauce that can be pretty good if "Mom" makes it...) and relax/think about the day

8:30pm - Figure out what books I want to read tonight, then set up the mosquito tent again and hunker down for the night.

9pm or 9:30pm - Stare at the stars and the moon until I fall asleep...

It's not such a bad life, really. Only thing I could hope for more of was contact with loved ones back home or volunteers here in Burkina...

Oh well! That's what the internet and texts are for!

Wish, as always, you were here and I could describe more/better.

Love-ity love love,
Emily/Aida/Kamoin (oh yeah! keep the names a comin')