16 March – Kossouka, 7:29pm
Kittens, kittens everywhere and into everything! Good thing they're cute, that's all I'm saying.
Today was good. Woke up, ate, lounged, headed over to the community meeting at 9am (it was supposed to start at 8, but guess what?) We started around 9:30 or so, not bad. I got to introduce myself (I did a pretty decent job, if I do say so myself) and we were done around 10:50ish. The women sat in the back but there were about equal numbers of men and women, although only one spoke up in the big assembly while a couple of men asked a lot of questions (I really wish I could have understood what they were asking). I shook more hands than I can count, than headed home to get water and stopped and chatted at the CSPS.
I was pretty proud of myself, actually – there was a guy from Seguenega sitting at the dispensaire and I managed to carry the conversation in Moore past the greetings! Granted, that was because he was asking me to be his wife and how many children we would have, but I was able to joke along and tell him that 10 would be fine with me if he had the money. I lost it after that and we switched to French, but it was pretty cool to get a little past the routine greeting. I didn't understand every word, but I got the gist well enough, kind of like how I get by in French. He said he was coming for lunch, but of course he didn't actually come despite my genuine acceptance of his self-invitation.
I used up my veggies in a big stew again. I really need to vary my meals, but I guess I'll keep doing this until I'm tired of it or until the veggies at the marche change. I should experiment with different spices, and I think it really needs some kind of carb – I was still craving something, like bread or pasta or oatmeal.
When I finally went to the library I felt rather productive getting to talk to Simon. I asked him about the CVD members, and if he could hook me up with an homologue, and if he would come meet Dr. Claude and Justin tomorrow morning when they come for my site visit, and about the history and traditions and commerce of Kossouka. He said he'd get back to me on the homologue and history, but we talked about the rest, and it was thoroughly helpful. I really wish he could be my homologue, but I feel like he's already quite busy and honestly not all that interested in health. I came home and sat around the CSPS for a while – met the cheif's son and learned a little Moore from Ken, one of our interns, told people that I have my boss coming tomorrow, and headed home to set up my tent, shower, and try to call people back. And here I am, with my tea, getting ready to get my radio and hear the update on the war in Libya, the nuclear reactor meltdown in post-tsunami Japan, and whatever else the news has brought.
In Burkina news, there are peaceful demonstrations planned in Ouaga, and standfast is lifted so that we can all go to IST, and even travel through Ouaga as long as we're not staying the night.