Friday, March 18, 2011

Favorite kids, foutou and first rain of the season (I think...).

Things here in Burkina Faso have been both crazy and calm at the same time...long story short, an incident that happened in Koudougou (the third largest city in BF) involving a police officer and student in high school have created mass demonstrations in Ouaga, Bobo and other parts of the country. Because of that, school (from the pre-school level all the way up to the university level) has been canceled to prevent students (particularly high school and university students) from mobilizing and creating mass demonstrations throughout the country. School has been canceled since pretty much the beginning of March (maybe even a little earlier -- my sense of time has now been completely thrown off since school hasn't been in session).

Fortunately, it doesn't affect the villages (where most PCVs are placed) so all seems well. And since the beginning of March (or whenever this started), things have seemed to calm down a bit. In the meantime, I've been working on my CEP Jeopardy Review Guide (the CEP is the exam primary school students need to pass in order to continue to the middle school level)...more on that later!!

Anyway, here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Grace, Yesi and I. They're so freakin' cute!

Grace and Yesi again! SO cute! (I realize I use the word 'cute' too much...) far one of my most favorite dishes in Burkina Faso. It's kind of like a thick, thick version of mashed potatoes made out of yams that are boiled and pounded. The sauce that my neighbors make (with tomatoes, eggplant, onions, spices, fish/meat) is absolutely delicious. This night, my neighbors made it because they know I absolutely LOVE it. Mmmm...

Brenda and I standing outside after what seemed like the first rain of the season. Of course, it's not BUT it was great to think that for a little bit.

In a couple of weeks, I have a few big things going on: come March 28-30, it'll be my COS (close-of-service) Conference in Ouaga where my training group will meet for the last time in country before all of us part ways. We still have a bit to go until our actual COS date (in August) but this COS Conference is more for a way for everyone in my training group to discuss our experiences together and how we can move forward and bring them back to the US. Exciting! Immediately after, I'll be participating in a workshop at the American Language Center -- it'll be a crash course on how to Teach English as a Foreign Language which I'm also really excited about. Afterward is the MAP (Men As Partners) Conference with one of my good friends at site, Nazaire (who coincidentally is the President of the parent's association at my primary school + a very involved community member at my site). It'll be hosted by the GAD (Gender and Development Committee) for Peace Corps (Jon's committee) and we'll be discussing ways that we can implicate women and girls in community activities, and educate men and boys on the importance to involve women and girls as well. Lots to look forward to!

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