Sunday, February 27, 2011

Loropeni...a third time!

This was my THIRD time visiting the Loropeni Ruins, the only UNESCO World Heritage in Burkina Faso and lucky for me, only 20km from my house!

Jon had never been; neither had his counterpart Papa so they invited me to come along with a few of their other friends.

The past two times I just kind of wandered in there and went in with the information I've read in guidebooks. But I'm glad we got a guide this time around to really explain the mystery behind these ruins. They also had all these signs that made it better organized...overall, a really great time!

A little blurb again about the Loropeni Ruins again from Wikipedia:

The Loropéni ruins were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2009. The ruins are the country's first World Heritage inscription. Surrounded by mystery, the 11,130m2 property is made up of an array of stone walls. Loropéni is the best preserved example of a type of fortified settlement in a wide part of West Africa, linked to the tradition of gold mining, which seems to have persisted through at least seven centuries. Loropéni, given its size and scope reflects a type of structure quite different from the walled towns of what is now Nigeria, or the cities of the upper reaches of the river Niger which flourished as part of the Empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhai. It thus can be seen as an exceptional testimony to the settlement response generated by the gold trade.

Friday, February 25, 2011

L'amour-propre. Self-esteem.

When you literally translate the words l'amour-propre, it's 'love for yourself.' But the best translation is self-esteem.

For the past few weeks in my CM1 Girls' Club, my Life Skills lesson has focused on self-esteem and my final activity was where each girl writes her name on the top of each page, tapes it to her back and each person writes something positive about her.

To help them out, in past meetings, I told stories that I created that asked the girls to describe the girl with with certain, positive adjectives (ex: courageous, strong, intelligent, etc.) and it culminated with making a list of these on the board.

Good thing I brought my camera -- my girls are absolutely hilarious!

By the way, I finally went to the hair salon in Ouaga and she ended up annihilating my faux-hawk. It's back to my haircut circa high school days...Ali randomly took this picture. I feel like because of this hot season, I've been losing weight because all I do is drink water and sweat. Hah!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February heat.

I don't know if I mentioned this already, but the hot season is officially here! Gone are the days of shutting all my windows before going to bed, warming up my bucket bath water every night and sleeping with a blanket/long-sleeved shirt...

I'm so happy Jon and I decided to do our Weekend Girls' Camp in January because we would've been hot messses had we done it at the end of February!

Below are just a few pictures of my life here since the Girls' Camp...

In the morning and throughout the first half of the day, the sun shines on my porch which makes it perfect for drying things. One day, my neighbors Clémence and Pélagé + Grace came by and were drying chives. CHIVES. It instantly reminded me of baked potatoes with sour cream, butter and bacon bits. mouth salivates just thinking of it!

It is also potato and lettuce season here in Burkina Faso. I love it! Gotta enjoy it while it lasts.

Hercules never ceases to entertain me. Look at the way he sleeps sometimes! I could probably create a photo album of all the strange ways Hercules sleeps, haha.

HAHA! He keeps me sane when the sun tries to fry my brain.

Remember the school garden I helped Jean, my counterpart, with a few months ago? Look at how much it's grown. In this picture are cucumbers.

PSDN (Peer Support and Diversity Network) heading out to a nice dinner...sadly, this February's meeting was our second to last one. =/