samedi 10 mai 2008

Long Time No See

Hello friends. I have not blogged in a really long time and i beg your forgiveness. i am not dead or sick or sad. I just haven't had anything interesting to say! I am approaching a year in Burkina and miraculously, this is becoming "old hat." Having said that, I hope that I have used that expression correctly. Recently the fine lines between French and English have become blurred and the first thing to go was my ability to navigate idioms and english is FULL of idioms. The Americans I interact with regularly speak the same language i do - franglais - and so any language fumbles are rarely noticed. I was speaking with my lovely sister M0lly the other day and we were talking about her rehearsal dinner and, in wishing to express my excitement, i said, "Oh! I will be at the top of the page!" There was a confused silence on the other end of the phone and it occured to me that what I just said may not be an english "ism" afterall. "Wait . . . what does that mean?" Molly politely asked and . . . i had no idea what it meant or where I came up with it. Top of the page? It's not even a translated french idiom. So excuse me when I say weird things. I know not what I do.

How have I been keeping myself occupied lately you ask?? Well, I have been teaching Sex Ed. That's right. Sex Ed. In Africa. In french. Actually the french makes it easier because I don't react when i say things like "muqueuse uterine." Pleasant. I had to draw lots of diagrams of the reproductive organs on the board for the students . . . in colored chalk. Corpus cavernosum in purple. Oviduct in green. It was a good time. They had many many mis-understandings about the origins of pregnancy which I was very sad about because they tend to become sexually active at young ages here. "Madame, is it true that if you only have sex during the day you won't get pregnant?" "Um . . . no. That is NOT true. The time of day has nothing to do with it." We talked about STD's and condom use. Family Planning and the menstrual cyle. There are several illigitamately pregnant girls at my high school and I really feel strongly about teaching sex ed. I must admit though, and its difficult to admit this to myself, but I fear that it all went in one ear and out the other and then when it comes down to it they will side with their traditional beliefs. Argh! This is development. You battle mind-sets and points of view and its a lot of work for not a lot of gain. You can give a day-long sensibilisation about the evils of female circumcision (which is illegal and yet still rampant in Burkina) and then have someone approach you and say "Sorry I can't meet your for tea tomorrow. My daughter is getting circumsized." Wait . . . what?

On a lighter note. There has been an addition to the fam in Tougs. Eloise had a baby! Just one. Clay calls Eloise "Louis" and started calling the kitten "Clark" which he is allowed to do because it will be his cat. So Clark currently lives under my bed and makes a lot of cute noise. My camera is broken so I don't have a picture but she is all white except for her tail which is black and gray stripes like Eloise.

It is very hot. Never below 90. Not even at night. I sleep outside and it's annoying because the mosquito net blocks the breeze and the animals make lots of noise and wake me up at 4:30 am.

I am approaching a year! And about to have a birthday! The novelty of living in Africa is wearing off. It's becoming "My life" and not "My life in Africa." Things that were crazy to me a year ago have become normal and uninteresting. Holding someone's chicken while they get on the bus . . . ladies on bikes with a baby strapped to their back and a huge bowl on their head . . . the food . . . warm beer . . . these things are just kinda normal. Wh0 new you could get used to a life in Africa?? Of course there are still some surprises. Here's a good story for y'all: This didn't happen to me but it could have because it happened on the bus I take for transport to the capitol. An old Fulani woman (the Fulani are a really marginalized ethnic group here - they are truly villagois) stood up out of her seat on the bus and placed a kalbash (a bowl made of a gourd) on the floor of the bus and squated over it and actually peed right there on the bus and tossed it out the window!!!!! Hahaha!!!

What's next you say?? June is taken up by my lovely friend Mary Elizabeth who is coming to BF for the whole month!! yay! I hope she has fun. Then in July I have Molly's and Jackie's weddings and AMERICA!! Also, in July and into August I am helping to train the new group of teachers who will be arriving in June. Nana and I are taking a trip in September! And then the school year starts again in October. I am spoiled. But I dont mind.

2 commentaires:

Molly a dit…

I just want to say that this entry is definitely "at the top of the page" as far as I'm concerned. Could you hold my chicken?

Jackie a dit…

Oh dear Becca... I hate to break it to you, but you're becoming Debbie Stull! "Color the testes blue!"