Thursday, December 23, 2010
December has thus far been the most exciting month for me here in Burkina. Today is officially my 6th month anniversary! In some ways it feels like I have been here for that long but in many other it does not. I have only really been on my own at my site for around 3 months so I still have a lot more integrating to do.
Like I said December has been quite the hectic month, I have been gone from my site from the 2nd or so of December. For the first part of the month I was in Bobo (South-West Burkina) with a group of other volunteers for International volunteer day (which ultimately ended up being canceled) and to march in Burkina’s 50th Anniversary parade. The first 2 days a group of 15 or so of us gardened with a group of men and women who are affected by HIV/AIDS the following week was devoted to the parade. 25 of us marched and for 5 days we had to show up at the parade route and “practice” marching. Basically we just had to be there at 6am stand around until 10am and then walk the 2 mile parade route once. Standing around in the sun was a pain in the ass butt all in all we had a really good time. It was nice to be able to spend so much time with other volunteers that were not in my sector and being that we were the only white group we received quite a bit of attention. On the day of the parade we all had to wear matching pagne outfits with heard wraps and the most uncomfortable shoes imaginable. The parade was incredible though, if you really want to call in a parade it was more of a military march with tons of military personal and zero candy! The day of there were thousands of people standing on the side of the road and a grandstand with the President, First Lady and tons of influential members of West Africa. The parade was definitely an experience and now I can say I marched (military style :) ) in Burkina Faso’s 50th Anniversary Independence parade.
Immediately after Bobo I made my way to Koupela for my regional language training. Me, 4 other volunteers who live in my area, plus our lang tutor spent 8 days 6 hours each day studying Moore.
Today I’m heading back to village to spend Christmas with my courtyard family, being that ive been gone for so long its nice to be able to spend the holidays with them. I’m really sad that I’m not back in the states for the holidays so enjoy the snow, even though I know it can be a pain in the ass (its 99 degrees here today) and enjoy time with loved ones. I miss you all and hope you have a wonderful holiday season!