Monday, December 10, 2007

Things I've Learned In Burkina Faso

- Burkinabe are the most welcoming, hospitable people in the world. As Bintou, one of our language instructors explained to me, they view strangers they come across as a gift from God, providing an opportunity to learn new things as well as share their own culture and hospitality. This is such a change from America, where people are so often closed off and wary of anyone they don't know.
PIC: my incredible host mom with me

- The Lion King is Disney's adaptation of the Jula legend of how their people came into existence. I'm going to be frolicking in Simba's homeland!

- With enough practice, you can balance anything on your head

- 70 degrees is actually cold, and requires the Burkinabe to bundle up in full parkas, wool hats, and hoods when the temperature dares to dip below this level in the mornings. PIC: My littlest brother wearing his usual morning ensemble, when its probably about 75 degrees.

- It takes very little to make a person happy: a cold drink on a hot day, a smile while you pass on the street, a short letter in the mail. Thats the way it should be and I hope it stays with me even when I return to the comforts of the States.

- Food and drinks that you never thought came in bag form actually do. Just bite off the corner of the bag and suck out the contents. examples include water, yogurt, gin, and peanut butter.

- certain things are universal. harry potter is one of them
PIC: my little brother Le Vieux in the best shirt in Africa

- Being taught a third language (Jula) in your second language (French) is hard. Really really hard.

- African cows are not like American cows. They're skinny with big horns and fatty humps on their backs. Like American cows, they often get in the way on the road. PIC: the road to Rikou, filled with cows, as usual

- Roads in Burkina Faso are not nice. The one between my host village and the city of Ouhigouya, in particular. This is the road under "construction" on our last day.


Ellyn said...

Good to get an update! The photos are terrific. Merry Christmas. Miss you, Ellyn

nickjoslin said...

hi its A.J. your dad's student

nickjoslin said...

Afica must be prety cool. We're sending you a box of stuff I hope you like it :).

A.J. Swan said...


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