Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cheif de Terre, Marche

22 January – 9:11pm

Today, as always, was an adventure. The coffee guys this morning were very into speaking with me in Moore, which is always a bit challenging since they refuse to translate even when they know how to say it in French. There was something about my name that was fascinating them this morning – they just kept repeating “Ouedraogo Alimata, Alimata Ouedraogo” over and over and laughing. They laughed uproariously for a good minute when I tried to say “I'm going to go eat” in Moore and wouldn't tell me if I had said it right or not so I said bilfu “see you later” to the general crowd and took my bread home for breakfast.

Then I went to meet the Chief de Terre! (a position in the village passed from brother to brother to son or nephew - whoever is the oldest and wisest) The CoGes member, who I was afraid didn't speak French, actually speaks quite a bit, and we also went with my major to a part of the village I hadn't seen before. I need to practice my moving speeches in general so I have a good response when they shower me with every benediction they can think of – it seems to happen every time I'm introduced to someone and I feel bad that I don't have very much to say back besides “Thank you”.

I got a new giant bag of rice (next up, finding flour), onions, almost decent-sized eggplants, almost normal sized citrons (not sure if they're limes or lemons, honestly – they're kind of in between green and yellow), onions, carrots, green beans (!) and peanuts at the marche. Ilias said he was coming for lunch, as did the guys at the botique where I bought my macaroni and rubber bike strap, but I'm glad I didn't actually make anything because none of them came. I ate samsa and gallets for lunch, with bissap, gingembre, and degue (millet soaked in milk) from Odille, who speaks French and teaches me Moore. I was so full and it was awesome. I lounged, did a little work on the monthly reports, talked to some girls who stopped by (always awkward but kinda nice) and made a delicious dinner of tomatoes sliced with salt, pepper and olive oil, followed by green beans and carrots fried in oil with soy sauce, ginger, and sugar. Next time I'll use a little less oil or try using water, but it was so tasty!

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