Sunday, November 11, 2007

Congratulations, you are going to...TIN!

Mixing up some banana bread with my fellow volunteers in Rikou. You'd be surprised what you can cook in a pot over a fire. Notice how dirty I am, this is a pretty typical state to be in....
For the last 5 weeks, I have been living in my host village of Rikou, just outside of the city of Ouhigouya, where we bike to for classes and other necessities of life such as cold drinks and electricity. Up until now, we hadn't been told where our individual sites were going to be....but now, all that has changed and at the end of training I will be moving to my new home in Tin, Burkina Faso!
Tin is a small village with a population of about 1300 people, located in the south-western part of Burkina. Their primary source of income is agriculture, specifically mangos, so I'll be eating plenty of those for the next couple years. Apparently cashews as well. Its a good thing theres a lot of them, since there is no market in the village at all, and I'll have to bike about 13 kilometers to the nearest village that has a market as well as a telecenter. Should be interesting during the rainy season...
The biggest city near me is Bobo, about an hour and a half away by bush taxi, and I'm told thats a pretty hoppin' place, by Burkinabe standards. My house in Tin is part of a family's compound, so I'll have plenty of people to keep me company and introduce me around the village once I get there. Also, I hear theres an orange tree in my courtyard, yummy. The main language spoken in the region is Jula, so I've started classes in that, and am continuing french as well. Its a bit daunting, I wont lie.
In other news, we spent a night in the capital city of Ouga, which is quite exciting. There's semi-american food (at least things other than to and benga, staple foods here in burkina), a pool at the hotel, and even nightclubs that will play American music if we ask the DJ nicely. Pretty much, its a very welcome break from village life, though I was happy to get back to my host family after a few nights away. I consider myself just about fully integrated into the community (ha) since I'm now able to carry water on my head from the village pump, name a few things in their native language of Moore, and they all know my name now and have mostly stopped calling me Nasara all the time (meaning white person).

Finally, thanks so much to the people who have sent me packages and letters! A few finally arrived, and completely made my day.


Ellyn said...

I love the photo! You look very happy. I had been wondering what Nasara meant... thanks for clearing that up. Will look forward to the next update but sounds like it'll be a bit of a bike ride to get to the telecenter.
Love, Ellyn

Konyi618 said...

I love the photo. You do look very happy even though I'm sure you do have some bad days. Any who, keep at it, I enjoyed looking at your pics on Facebook too!

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