Posted by: cgross1 | November 20, 2010

One Month In Burkina!!

It is now official – I have been in Burkina for over one month, and in all honesty, it doesn’t feel like it at all. It feels like only yesterday I landed in a dusty field known as the Ouaga airport, stepped off the plane and felt my first wave of sweat-inducing heat and humidity. And yet I feel like I know so much more than I did one month ago. I can participate in French conversations without people looking at me like I’ve sprouted a second head – I can both understand and be understood one hundred times better than I could a month ago. And in the same breath, there is so much I have yet to learn. I have yet to learn how to communicate to my host family that I don’t want a third, fourth, or fifth serving of rice with sauce, and that when I say one serving is enough, it is enough. My host mother doesn’t think I eat enough to offset the amount of work I do during the day. Believe me, when it’s 85 degrees at dinnertime, I really don’t feel like eating a whole lot. But I appreciate my host family looking after me. Everyone in my host family is fantastic, and I am grateful to have such tolerant and helpful people guiding me through my ongoing period of integration.

Three more weeks until swear-in in Ouaga! After swear-in, I will be an official volunteer of the Peace Corps instead of a trainee. We were told our permanent sites on Monday, which was incredibly exciting!! I will be in a relatively small village outside of Ouaga. I will be working with an association that makes Shea butter, and I am eager to get started!

I am happy to say that everyone in our stage (group) is doing well, and we are all decently healthy at this point, for which I am grateful. I hope that it will stay that way throughout our service. Volunteers here seem to be generally healthy, and the care and support that we receive in-country is exceedingly thorough.

Be grateful for cold weather! I’m sure that in New Mexico all the leaves are changing colors, and that the mornings have become crisp and cool. Revel in that coolness for me, because I won’t get to experience that for two more years! Right now the temperature is relatively cool, compared to the 115 degrees it can reach during April (in some parts of the country). So I am fully prepared to revel in the 70 degree weather coming in December and January. As a side note, last week it rained on Sunday. I think the temperature was around 70, and my host family said that they were freezing, and all put on long sleeve shirts. People here are convinced that if they ever went to Europe, they would die from the cold.

Everything else is going well here, and I hope that everyone is doing well in the States! I think of everyone often, and I love the blog comments!!

Until next time.



  1. Happy Thanksgiving Christie! I have loved reading your blogs..sounds like you have really settled in and are enjoying the experience…that is wonderful! I look forward to more blogs…your writing style is terrific…I feel like I am right there with you. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Dang! Your host family sounds wonderful, and your experiences more amazing by the day!! Congrats on your three-weeks out; can’t wait to hear more about Shea butter. Will you be the only one from your group working there?

    You are very correct — the cold weather has arrived here, but I’m sure that you are perfectly happy in your hot little haven (certainly not my kind of haven, but that’s ok!) I can’t wait till 2 years from now when you step off the plane in ABQ and your first words are a complaint about the cold 😛

    Keep up the great health!!

    PS –
    News from my end–I just completed the first draft of my infamous novel (170k words) and am really looking forward to the torture…I mean editing!

    • Hey!

      I will be the only volunteer in my village working with this association, as far as I know. But I will have other volunteers as neighbors, so I will get to visit with them from time to time.

      I am very happy with my warm weather, now that it cools down very nicely at night. April is going to be hot even for me, but I will gladly take it over the cold any day of the week!

      Send the text my way when you get the chance, and I will look it over for you! I have some time (2 years worth to be exact) ^^

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