My host brother, Abdulaziz, helping me out. Out of everyone in my family, he’s the only one that can speak French fluently.
It was such a relief to see all the dirt and sweat wash away but also kinda gross…we left them to dry around my courtyard straw gate and hut and I ended up whipping the camera to take pictures of my hut and my compound (check another blog entry for these pics!).
I decided it would also be an amazing day to clean the inside of my hut and my courtyard since I can never find the time to do it. I did lots of sweeping and rearranging until Marita and her host sister, Miriam, came over. Marita helped me re-use the blue tape my friends back home used to make sure nothing leaked in my bags. We binged on wafer cookies, Cheez-Its and Kool Aid…it’s the simple things in life, I tell you! We also talked about getting a class for French instead of Moore (one of the local languages) to improve my conversational skills…so I’m going to talk to a PC staff member when we get back to Ouahigouya…good times!
My host mom brought Marita and I some rice for lunch but she eventually had to head back home. Abdulaziz came to my courtyard to practice some English. He also told me about his family…how his mom passed away last year from sickness and how his little sister passed away the day before his mom passed away. I didn’t know what to say. We also talked about past volunteers that have stayed with them during training and he mentioned I was the first male volunteer they’ve housed! Because it was getting so hot, I needed to take a nap. So I whipped out my self-inflate mat, put on some Kanye, and headed to a sweet somber for 2.5 hours. A-mazing!
Waking up from that nap, I was dripping in sweat because it was in the middle of the day. But I ended up chilling outside with my host dad and watched him etch Koran verses from memory onto wooden tablets (think 10 Commandments except it’s the Koran). He’s a Koran teacher but it’s still impressive to me that he knows the Koran by memory.
I ended up playing Frisbee with Marita and about 20 other kids at the school’s field. It’s a good thing Marita knew some games to play…it was encouraging because boys were playing with girls but we eventually had to leave because the sun was setting. In the end, we did a cheer which almost resulted in all of them breaking my one and only Frisbee! Whew!! Seeing boys interspersed with girls brought me new hope for our club we need to start in our village for the female students!
I headed back to my compound and took a much-needed bucket bath…pretty much what I look forward to at the end of the day! While I was bathing, I could hear Marita telling me to come out to the small boutique (read: insanely small store with a gated window in the front) where they show a movie in the courtyard behind it…
I asked Abdulaziz to come with me and of course, the movie starts on WAIT (West African International Time), very similar to Filipino time. We paid 50 CFA to watch the movie which consisted of an enclosed courtyard with benches, mat in the front, and a regular-sized TV being powered by a car battery. Nothing too fancy here! After 3 Indian films that didn’t work, they put on a ‘Chinois’ film which actually turned out to be Thai. It was about this villager who avenges a sacred village object by going into Bangkok. Essentially, it was your stereotypical Asian film filed with Muy Thai and amazing tricks. I could feel the eyes stare at me since I look very much similar to the people on the screen...but I was getting a kick at how excited the villagers were whenever the main character did some crazy move. Even my other little host brother, Hassan, looked back at me from time to time in amazement. I’m all about dispelling stereotypes but this movie made me want to learn Muy Thai and show off (hahaha).
Overall, a very simple but extraordinary day in village!!