Posted by: cgross1 | October 26, 2010

Updates from Burkina!

Bonjour to everyone in the states!! I have officially moved in with my host family (as of last Thursday). I am really enjoying living with my host family thus far. My host father is a beekeeper, and my host mother works as well, though I haven’t figured out precisely what she does yet (the language barrier is definitely present). There are also four boys that live at the home. They are my host mother’s sons, and they range from age seven to in the early twenties. Their eldest daughter is studying in the capital, Ouagadougou, at the university there.

I put up some new images in the gallery of my host family’s house/compound, which my host father built himself, and continues to work on. They have a plethora of animals including chickens, roosters, two dogs, four or five goats, and a donkey, all of which make an unprecedented amount of noise.

The amount of similarities I continue to find here are somewhat comforting, I suppose. The family unit seems to be essentially universal – my host mother helps the boys with their homework after dinner, and all of the food scraps go to the dogs, just like in the states (in my experience). The weather here is similar to New Mexico, hot with a 90% chance of insects. The sun sets very early here, at around 6:00 PM or so, but I have been told that the days are longer in the summer.

When I am not at home with my host family trying to circumnavigate the French/English/Moore language barrier (Moore is the predominant local language), I spend my time at the training center with the other Trainees. As a small enterprise development worker, most of my classes thus far have centered around income generating activities and agricultural studies, as these are predominate forces here. Agriculture accounts for a large percentage of the nation’s workforce, followed by artisans. Since I will probably be working in one of these two sectors, we are spending a lot of time out of the classroom in the field. We are working on planting a dry season garden at the moment to study what we can grow in the off season as an income generating activity. Also, we will be working within our communities to create small projects as a precursor to the projects we will be doing when we arrive at our sites in late December.

Internet use has been rather limited, due to the fact that the internet at the training center broke several days ago and has not worked since. Therefore, any internet access I will have for the next two months will be through cyber cafes, but hopefully I will be able to update at least once every week and a half or so. I hope everyone in the states is doing well – best wishes from Africa!!

For more pics of me taken by other Volunteers, friend me on Facebook!

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