samedi 23 juin 2007

A Day in the Life

It is 530 am in Oahigouya, Burkina Faso and the sun is coming up and so I am waking up. I stay in bed and listen to the various animals that live in the street outside my courtyard. Donkeys, roosters, pigs, goats, and some insect or bird that makes a sound very similar to an alarm clock.

Finally at about 630 I get out of bed, wrap myself in my pagne and fetch water for my bucket shower. There is a faucet in my courtyard so i dont have to go far. I love a bucket shower. You toss cupfulls of cool water on your body and dont think about how hot it will be at 2 pm. In Burkina, it is rude to talk to anyone before you have bathed and brushed your teeth so i dont greet my family until i sit down for breakfast which is always bread and hot tea . . . if I am feeling brave, i risk a little butter too.

And then I hop on my bike and ride the 3 minutes it takes to get to ECLA -- the base for Peace Corps Training operations. On the way 20 or so strangers shout "Nasara Bonjour" which means white person or stranger. I laugh and say hello. One time i stopped my bike and 4 kids came up to me and touched my arms -- Nasara! nasara!! I feel like Brangalina. I sit in language classes or technical training classes for 8 hours. At least once a day I have an ADD meltdown and decide that i cant sit still anymore!! Five minutes later i am over it and back in class and reminding myself that training is only a few months and my actual job will be very different. Its an exercise in patience which I can always benefit from.

After class I go home and try to communicate with my family -- African French is nothing like French French and most times i cant even tell if my family is speaking mooré or french. At about 730 it is dinner time and i love Burkina food! It is pretty much always some kind of grain and a sauce. Rice and onion sauce . . . cous cous and tomato sauce . . . plantains and sauce . . . bean sauce . . . beans and oil . . . actually it really is tasty. There are also a ton of special beverages. My mom makes several and sells them in the village. Everyones favotite is Bissap which is made from hibiscus flowers and then sweetened. It is magenta in color and oh so tasty. My host mom makes me some with my filtered water so i wont get sick.

After dinner, I retire to my room -- about 830 or 900 -- and journal, read, or do a little homework. I point my fan -- which the family went out and bought for me because i kept fanning myself -- directly at my bed and tuck my mosquito net in around me and hope that i wont have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The next morning i do it all again.

12 commentaires:

Katelyn a dit…

Wow Becca. Thanks for the glimpse into your new life! I envy the simplicity. I am so glad that you are enjoying your experience so far. How resiliant you are! I miss you madly. Love you madly too! Boo!

Anonyme a dit…

I am so glad you gave us a glimspe into a day in africa! I cannot wait until I am able to come and see you. It sounds like you are in the right place!

Christina a dit…

Becca that sounds really neat. Your life in Africa sounds much better than my life in the trailer park. I miss you Boo!

Jessica a dit…

Precious! Your life in Africa sounds fantastic. I'm so proud of you for sitting through 8 hours of class... and don't compare yourself to Brangelina because you are so much cooler than those two. You are my heart!

Nana a dit…

Dearest Beccafaso, It brought tears to my eyes reading your "day in the life". You write so well I can hear the animals in my mind. What a life!! What is your family's name/s. To say I am proud of you is an understatement in the least. Maybe a little envious. I love you. Nana

Patti Hedges a dit…

Becca, Wow! How I envy you; I would have loved to have done something like what you are doing when I was your age. You are learning so much about the real world and real life that you could never learn from books. Thanks so much for sharing "a day in the life of Becca". You do write so well, as Nana said, and I look forward to updates. I'm going to forward your email to Uncle Dan, Stephen, and Michael so they can read about your adventures.
P.S. I'm glad you have a fan to sleep under at night. Thank God for the little blessings! Love you, Aunt Patti


Rebecca,did not know that you werre such a gifted writer.
Looking forward to hearing more about your on going saga in Africa.
You are making those Adams gene's look good.
Love you q whole big bunch


Ever time I read your blog it makes me wish that I was there with you. I have shared your exciting adventure with all of my friends & they all want to come for a visit. You make it sound so exciting.
What is the name of your host family.
What can I send you to help with your trials & tribultions.
Boo & Charlie & me send our love.
My heart is always at your service.


we sure are enjoying your blog commentaries.
I hope it is ok to share them with all of my ole cronies.
Are you getting the blog mail that is being sent to you.
Everyone misses you especially your Mom, however, we are all pleased that you seem to be enjoying the experience, at least so far.
The proof of the pudding so to speak will be when you start teaching.
I would love to be a mouse in the corner when you get your first class.
You blog does sound like you are having a ball with lots of wonderful memories to share in the years to come.
Please let me know if you are getting our blog messages.
Had to go & get some more britiches as I have busted out of all of the ole ones with PRIDE.

Chuck a dit…


I can't even imagine. Wow. Your experiences have definately set the bar pretty high on the "what really matters" chart of life. I think of you everytime I work on my needlepoint. Hang in there. Stay safe. Julie


Have not had an email or blog from you in some time, I can only suspect that you are finally very busy teaching the finer point of biology.
I see in the paper where your new adopted country has been given a seat on the Security Council in the United Nations in recognization of their democratic efforts.
Sounds like one big step for such a small country.
I would be interested in knowing how the locals feel about their new found United Nations recognization.
That is a big honor for such a small country.
Looking forward to hearing about your teaching experience.
I would give a months pay to be a mouse in the corner listening to your French Biology lesson.
You are one major hoot.
Love you big time & my pride runnith over.


Rebecca, Boo, Charlie & I are getting ready to watch the world seies baseball game & we are thinking of you.
Have not heard from you for a few days. You must be busy'
Sending our kisses & prayers.