Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Riots and Menningitis

Those are the two things that have pretty much dominated the past few weeks for me, though luckily from afar. In mid February there were some demonstrations in Bobo (the city I come to for internet, etc) which were planned to protest the high cost of living which is very unrealistic for most Burkinabe to meet. Things escalated and rioting began in the areas surrounding downtown. Lots of breaking/burning things, with hundreds of arrests and 3 deaths, I believe. There was an attempt to break into the Peace Corps house where volunteers stay when we're in town, but there was only minimal damage done (broken windows and our guard got hit in the face with a thrown rock, he's fine now). Demonstrations continued in other cities and all volunteers had to stay at our sites in village until things calmed down. As a result, I got very creative with my dinners, as food options are quite limited in Tin.

At the same time, there has been a meningitis epidemic in the region of Orodara, where I live. About 250 deaths country-wide so far, so the ministry of health set up a huge vaccination campaign and I spent the past week assisting with vaccinations in Tin and the smaller villages nearby which our health clinic serves. After over 2000 vaccinations and almost that many screaming kids (they dont like shots), we're all done. Though it kept me really busy, it was nice to feel useful and hopefully there wont be many more meningitis cases in my area at least.
In other news, my initial 3 months at site are coming to an end and I'll be leaving this weekend to head to the capital city of Ouaga for 3 weeks of more training which is designed to better equip us to address the health problems specific to our individual villages. Following that, I'll return to site and start doing "real" work. I'm looking forward to seeing the other volunteers and being in a city for a few weeks. That also means more regular internet access so please feel free to email me with hello's, questions, or news from home!
And now, a few pictures....

Watching the evening sun through the trees in Tin

We made chocolate pudding at Lori's house in Badara. It was too hot to set and so drinking it was the only option. yummy....

Ok, I can't get this picture to upload correctly, so just turn your head or something to see it. It's the very pretty view from my house of my courtyard and the mountain of Tin.


mocosmom said...

Hi Sweetie,

Sounds like tumultuous times! I am glad you are safe and are immunizing those little ones. I am currently doing a birth and thinking of you and your brother as always. I love you and am proud of you. Love, mom

Ellyn said...

Glad to read your latest "news"! I'm home from hospital after rough ride with knee surgery and asthma. Will write an email soon.

Sounds like you've only just begun with many more rewarding experiences to come in the ensuing months.

Love, Ellyn

bathmate said...

It looks so good in the post.
Many thanks for your nice posting, I like it.

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