samedi 6 octobre 2007

Male Horse Woman

Here are some Burkina tid-bits that make me smile.

My neighbors gave me a local name. I am Mossi so I needed a name to fit my new ethnicity. Almost all the people in Burkina - especially the Mossi - have the last name Ouedraogo. Seriously, at least half my students have that last name. So, naturally I made that my Mossi last name. My first name is Poco. Now, in Burkina, family names are first and the personal name second. Par example Hedges Rebecca. Only now, I am Ouedragog Poco. What does that translate to you ask? I am glad you ask because it translates to "Male Horse Woman." Yes. My name is Male Horse Woman. Awesome.

The rains have ended and it is 100 degrees in my house. Help. Im melting

In Ouaga there are a bunch of taxis. In order to be a taxi driver all you have to do is get a license. Buy a car. Paint it green - like pea soup green. And drive around. There is no regulation etc. Why pea green?

The food of choice here is something called to. Many familys eat it for breakfast lunch and dinner. It is made from millet or sometimes corn. It is white and has the consistency of playdough. You eat it with your hands and dip it in a sauce. I like sauce oseille. Burkinabe never believe me when i tell them that we do not eat to in the United States. "You dont eat to?!" they say in complete disbelief. "No, we dont eat to" i say trying not to giggle thinking of all the tasty delights America has to offer. "Okay, well certainly you eat corn to." they respond with satisfaction. Its not so much a question but a statement. And i assure them "No. There is no to in the United States." Personally, for me, this is the point of living in the United States. You can eat cheeseburgers, mexican food, and pumpkin pie. You dont HAVE to eat to.

In Africa, you drink beverages out of little baggies. Really. Yogurt too. You buy what i guess you could liken to a zip-lock bag but it ties instead of zipping and it is filled with some beverage. Zoom Koom, Bissap, Jus de pain de sange, Tamarin, Gingembre, water, yogurt, degue etc. And you bite off the corner and suck the liquid out of the bag. When you are done with the bag you throw it on the ground. I have to admit the first time i bought a beverage like that it kinda grossed me out. Especially the yogurt. But now . . . not at all. When I come home we can all fill up zip-lock bags and drink out of them. Hahaha.

One thing that continually frustrates me in this country is the lack of change. You have to make your own change when you buy something. They will take the money you guve with the bill at a restaurant and come back and the two of you (you and the waiter) will together make correct change for the bill. Both of you contributing. For someone afraid of math like me this is a nightmare. A clusterf$#@ of mathematical logistics that leaves me in total bamboozlement.

2 commentaires:

Molly a dit…

How did you get stuck with that handle, Poco? I'm guessing that "Poco" means woman, and the other part means male horse? Whatever. It's still better than "Shapely Nose" or "Rabbit Twig Nuggets." All I'm saying is, count your blessings. Nuggets.

Mom a dit…

All I'm saying is you make babies cry.