Monday, June 15, 2009

First impressions

I want to first apologize because they use a French keyboard here and it's hard for me to type on this...

Anyway, a few days ago we arrived in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso and stayed at a center that hosts travelers from everywhere. We were treated to a nice dinner at our Country Director's house and eventually headed to our training site in Ouahigouya (about 100 kilometers north of the capital). Speaking of first impressions, I made my first 'great' one the first day when I arrived super late to training...because I overslept in my room that happened to be air-conditioned (in the capital...don't get it twisted, I won't have air-conditioning from that point on). Old habits never die, I tell you!

Currently, we've finished our 2nd day of training in Ouahigouya and it's been crazy busy doing everything (ignore the time on the bottom; I don't think it's accurate). From cross cultural training to language classes to group work to how to use & fix our mountain bikes, etc. it's been a straight trip! Food has been delicious and you best BELIEVE we've been fed (contrary to popular belief). There are lots of carbs and my body is still acclimating to the temperature...apparently it's rainy season so the weather has been a little cooler. Little side note: it rained when we arrived in Ouahigouya for training so apparently that's a good sign for us and the surrounding village since it means we are good luck...niiiiiice. It was kinda like the heat wave in the Bay but with a breeze. So back to the food, there is always plenty of food for us but I think it's starting to take a toll on my stomach. Last night (Sunday), I had a little bit of stomach/excrement problems (get used to it...I'll be talking a lot about poo since all PC trainees/volunteers are guaranteed to get sick. Regardless, the PC Medical Center takes care of us and we even had a session where we received a huge medical kit, a guide to caring for ourselves and when to call the doctor, etc.). Fortunately, with a little medication and rest, I feel 10x better today! Something that's great though is how I can finally use my French and I've realized how much I need to work on conversational...but it's all coming together.

Just to give you the breakdown of our group: there's 32 of us working in either Secondary Education or Girls' Education and Empowerment (my sector). We've got people from all over the U.S., 2 married couples, and are all around our early 20's to early 30's. I'm one of 3 people of color (expected! haha) and reppin' California hard with another guy...haaaay!).

So tomorrow, I'm super excited because it's our host family adoption ceremony tomorrow (Tuesday) where we find out who we'll be staying with for the next 3 months of training. And we'll be out in the village so Internet access will be even less frequent...

I'd say more but the keyboard sucks, Internet is slow, and we have to leave soon because we need to grab dinner. This might be the last time in a while that I use the Internet because we're heading to village soon. Whenever I come into the City I'll try using it again. Also I might be getting a cell phone soon so I shall let you know when that happens...of course, that will be limited with texting and if/when I have reception.

I love and miss you all! Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers!!

10 comments:

cecilia said...

Thanks son for taking the time to update us. I am always waiting and eager to hear from you. You and your co PCV trainees are always in my thoughts and prayers. I know you are excited to meet your host family tomorrow and I am also excited to see some pictures of you and your host family next time.

Your holding hands with Lolo at the hospital was very touching. You got that shot really well son.
I will show that to him when I get home.

David, Lolo, Grandma, Benji and I love you so much. Take care.

Mom

cecilia said...

Hi son,
Thanks for the time in updating us about your Burkina Faso. I am always looking forward to your email and updates. I'll be using your blog often to see how you're doing. That was one of the questions I had if ever you'll be communicating with your relatives and thousands of friends, how? Mikey's blog is the answer.

In just a few hours, you'll be meeting your host family and I am eager to see some photos of them soon, yeah?

Your shot of Lolo holding hands with you was very touching. I had teary eyes when I saw it. That was a good shot. How did you do it while we were all struggling to calm Lolo down? wheww.......

David, Lolo, Grandma, Benji and I miss you. You and your fellow PCV trainees will always be in our thoughts and prayers.

Take care. We love you.
Mom

Camille said...

I got so excited when I saw that you updated michael! I added your blog to my homepage on my phone so I can access it at ALL times. Miss u!

Sable :) said...

Oh mikey, I love you so. Especially that you plan on talking about poo. You are out of control. Have fun and I can't wait for another update :)

Michelle said...

Hey Michael!

My dad just forwarded us your blog address...I will be checking this often. Good to hear you're safe. It's nice you have a blog to look back at your adventures, hope you brought a good camera! Take care!

Your cuzzo,
Michelle

Michelle said...

Hey Michael!

My dad just forwarded us your blog address...I will be checking this often. Good to hear you're safe. It's nice you have a blog to look back at your adventures, hope you brought a good camera! Take care!

Your cuzzo,
Michelle

Felicia said...

hahahhaa suppper late due to oversleeping... sounds waaaay familiar!! LOL yes, old habits never die. i hope i dont do that for class tomorrow! im sooo glad to hear that the med center treats u guys well because that gives me peace of mind. that was what i was concerned about cuz i cant be there to take care of u! sniff. haha. im glad to hear you are good luck for them... of course u guys are! :) have fun at training. i think about you every day and will pray for you (when i remember to pray)! looove uuu!!!

Felicia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Felicia said...

ps. did i tell you how happy it makes me feel that we've already gotten so many updates from u so soon? :) thank youuuu, i love you and miss you every day!

Mel said...

Hi Best! Hope you're well and having a great time! Embrace the bowel movements! They are great! Haha. Speaking of which, I've seen EXPLOSIVE ones lately at work, haha!

I missss you! It's so weird not being able to talk/text/see you =( Take care and hope to read another blog soon! Love you!