Talk about a mountain out of a molehill. Today I painted the white background of the mural and it was just such a relief to have this project finally, visibly underway. The director made a few trying comments but was generally jovial and helpful. They brought me a lovely metal ladder that's very sturdy, much better than the wooden type I had imagined I'd be using. We agreed to move the mural to the side wall, and made it a reasonable size instead of trying to paint the whole wall. We also changed the wording a little so that now I'll be painting “Ensemble, Luttons Contre Le VIH/SIDA En Milieu Scolaire” (literally - “Together, fight against HIV/AIDS in the school setting”) which is at least easier than “Ensemble Nous Luttons Contre Le VIH/SIDA, Lycee Departmental Yanogo Ouedraogo de Kossouka” even if it doesn't quite make sense in English. Painting on the texture wasn't the most fun, in fact it required me to forgo the roller and do the whole thing by hand, but it beats popcorn ceilings any day because at least this texture doesn't come loose and fall on your head! For some reason there was magically always a crowd of kids around staring at me, literally watching paint dry as it were. I couldn't figure out why they weren't in class, but there was maybe only 20 minutes when I was alone during the whole morning, from arriving at 8 to leaving at noon. They talked amongst themselves for the most part, not asking questions of me or even really responding to my questions or comments – it was a bit odd really.
It wasn't until I was almost finished when a student finally asked me what I was doing! He asked if I knew the volunteer who was in the village last year, Jessica, and was shocked when I pointed out that I was still around. He apparently lives in Kossouka with the primary school teacher from Margarougou, my former Moore tutor that I saw twice a month ago for simple computer lessons but who has again disappeared. He was a nice kid, talkative, in the 5eme, and seemed interested in my description of the sensibilization for Saturday which made me smile.
I finished right as the sun started hitting the wall I was painting, perfect timing. I had forgotten how tiring it is to be on a ladder for so long – the minute I got home I drank 2 liters of water and almost fell asleep in my chair. It was very hot out, but it's still getting a little chilly at night which is a nice contrast. I went to the maternity after 3pm to get water and charge my phone, and just ended up sitting with nothing to do for a few hours, although I did listen to Mohamadi and one of the interns talk. Tomorrow I'll go back to do the lettering and then we'll be all set for Saturday!