Tuesday, October 24, 2006

C'est normal? Je ne pense pas!

How is everyone doing? I hope you are all well and enjoying the cool weather in America. Things have been moving a long rather well, minus a few minor episodes of frustration/sadness. I will be getting my work assignment/living location in a week, so I am very excited to find out where in Burkina I will be living and what kind of work I will be doing. I already have fabulous ideas for my house that include screened-in porches and wonderful dinners!! Anyone want to come over for a dinner party/house warming? Start saving your money now, and I promise to make you a good dinner!

I was having a conversation with a few of the other trainees here, and it is funny how even in the few weeks that we have been here that our senses have been a bit dulled to the surroundings. Things that would absolutely blow you away in the United States just doesn’t seem to phase me here. So, we came up with a bit of a slogan that we constantly repeat now, “C’est normal? Je ne pense pas…” (Is it normal? I don’t think so.). Here is our ode:

A man feebily attempting to navigate his bike down the road with 10 live chickens strapped to the handlebars.

C’est normal? Je ne pense pas!

Walking in to my living room only to be surprised that the chicken we will have for dinner has invaded the living room. It proceeds to squawk and fly around until my mother comes in and brushes it outside.

C’est normal? Je ne pense pas!

Walking into my bedroom and become witness to GIGANTIC fire ants ripping apart a live grasshopper and carting it away…this is some National Geographic stuff.

C’est normal? Je ne pense pas!

Being called “Nasara” or “blanche” pretty much ALL day long - in English, “Whitey” pretty much.

C’est normal? Je ne pense pas!

Constantly scraping off layers of dirt from my skin…even if I shower 3 times a day!

C’est normal? Je ne pense pas!

Dodging run away baby goats every time I try to get to my house.

C’est normal? Je ne pense pas!

Being told by my host father that I have to wear my bike helmet...EVEN WHEN I GO FOR A WALK! (sounds ridiculous...but I swear this is true...I think he doesn't want to be the one guy who breaks his white person!)

C'est normql? Je ne pense pas!

Eating pigeons that my brother caught in our backyard--and then trying to explain why we don't eat any of the many NYC pigeons (all in fran├žais).

C'est normal? Je ne pense pas!


Oh there could be so much more! I am sure after a few more weeks here it will just be a normal thing. But, sometimes I can’t help but look around and think to myself - ”THIS IS CRAZY.”

Yesterday was the end of Ramadan, which is fabulous because we didn't have class, so all I did was sit in my courtyard and eat WONDERFUL food. I brought out my satellite radio and sat with me dad and listened to classic rock for hours. It was hilarious seeing him dance and sing to Bad Company, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Bruce Springsteen. He loved it! Later, we rode around to other houses to greet people for the holiday. Every house you go to you are obliged to eat whatever it is that they give you. I swear, I just stopped asking what things are..just eat it. Every time I sat down to eat another fish head I thought to myself...is this the one that is going to make me poo all night long. Luckily, I am feeling good...so I guess I avoided any of the crazy stomach-thrashing microbes. I'm staying strong!

Anyway, for those of you interested, I finally have a cell phone and I have listed the number on the sidebar. I have cell access all day for the time being, so feel free to give me a ring if you would like. I love speaking English!

Stay cool!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Give the time difference from African time to EST so peeps don't wake you up in the middle of the night...unless you like that kinda stuff.......

semicolon