Saturday, July 25, 2009

Typical PST Day in Village

To give everyone an idea of how I’ve lived my life for the past month and a half, here’s a typical day in Pre-Service Training (PST). Of course, no day consists of the exact same schedule, but here’s a little glimpse…

It varies week to week, but normally goes from Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 17:30 (military time!) and Saturday from 8:00 to 12:00…and Sunday is rest day. PST is like a combination of every orientation I’ve been a part of (with all the same feelings and sentiments included) plus school…okay, that probably doesn’t best summarize PST but let’s just say it’s a challenge to get through and no day is really the same!
  • 6:00-7:00: Wake up to the rooster crowing and reminisce (briefly) about those damn baby goats and random donkey making noise throughout the night; Greet my host family in Moore with “Ne y yibeoogo / Yibeoog kibare? / Laafi. / Y gaase? / Laafi. / Y zak ramba? / Laafi. / Y tuuma kibare? / Laafi. / Wend na sos-d laafi! / Amina!”; Take bucket bath #1 of the day
  • 7:00-8:00: Eat breakfast in my courtyard: usually a baguette and/or fried dough with coffee, tea, or powdered milk; If I’m going into Ouahigouya or another village for training (location switches everyday), I bike several kilometers with the other trainees in my village
  • 8:00-10:00: Language class in either the local language or French
  • 10:00-10:30: Break…pretty much lay on the nice mats and take a little nap
  • 10:30-12:30: Usually a Medical or Safety and Security session
  • 12:30-14:00: LUNCH! By this time, I’m so damn hungry. Benga (beans and rice), rice with sauce, or a pasta dish if training is in village OR avocado sandwiches, etc. and cold bissap (traditional Burkinabe fruit drink) or weda (a type of fruit, tastes like a sour Starburst) juice in plastic sachets if training is in Ouahigouya.
  • 14:00-15:30: Another session on Technical training or a Cross-Cultural session
  • 15:30-15:45: Break!
  • 15:45-17:15: Language class if we’re in village or community meeting/other session if we’re in Ouahigouya.
  • 17:30-18:30: If we’re in another village or Ouahigouya, do any last-minute things (Internet café, buying snacks at the store, etc.) and bike back before it gets dark!
  • 18:30-19:30: Arrive home and repeat the customary greetings with everyone again; take obligatory bucket bath #2 with the African sunset in plain sight (what I look forward to at the end of the day)
  • 19:30-20:30: Have dinner in my courtyard/hangar in front of my hut.
  • 20:30-22:00: Write in my journal, read, sit outside and talk to my host family, practice the local language or French with my host brother, listen to the radio with my host dad, fight the insects that surround my kerosene lamp while hearing the goats pee…sad but true.
  • 22:00-23:00: Brush my teeth and stare at the beautiful night sky…then sleep!

No comments: