24 February – Kossouka, 9:56pm
I'm sorry that it's been so long since I've updated! Internet access (particularly reliable, prolonged internet access) is very rare indeed. Life has been busy – up days, down days, lazy days, busy days. In general it's been good, a slow but steady sense of finding my place here. Talking to older Volunteers has also helped me to be a bit more realistic about my expectations for myself and my service here. What have I been up to? I've found our community library (started by the last Volunteer, the only library in our area) and convinced the librarian to be my Moore tutor, I've weighed countless babies every Thursday, I've helped in a door-to-door malnutrition campaign funded by a local NGO, I've biked to some of our satellite villages, I've been to a funeral mass in Moore, I've sat and chatted with my prefet and adjoint mayor, I've tried to explain why I'm not married and finally just started agreeing to marry everyone who offers (I do tell them that they will have to share my affections with their 4 co-husbands and can rotate cooking duty), I've adopted a group of old men as my “Burkina baab-ramba” - my Burkina fathers (who would very much like to meet and take a photo with my American fathers and send their good wishes for your health and wives and fields), I've watched births and vaccinations and no longer feel totally nauseous when watching someone get stitches, I've had discussions about International Woman's Day (March 8!) and about being white in Burkina vs. being white in the US, I've finally tried tô with a sauce I liked, I've learned to love any veggie available (even green beans – aren't you proud of me, mom?), I've read more books than I care to count (although I do have a list going, thanks to Bridget's suggestion), I've gotten bug bites while being entranced by all the stars I can see at night (I see at least one shooting star almost every night, sometimes up to 5 or 6 – it's amazing!), I've traveled by bike, bus, open-air camion, and jam-packed “car” (actually a van, supposed to hold 21 but they can still sell 30 tickets and we'll all be made to fit), and I've started listening to the radio (BBC, Doitchavella Radio – however it's spelled, it's in English from Germany, and occasionally the Voice of America) to get my daily dose of world news. Busy and happy - it's going. I miss you all, and if you have time you should write me (an email, a letter, a facebook message, a text, etc) and tell me what is going on in your life! I'm so glad I get to share my stories and adventures with you, so I'd love to know what's happening in your neck of the woods.