Saturday, October 28, 2006

Fan or Computer...That is the question...

So, I am sitting here at 12:23 and for some odd reason I just can’t sleep. Wait…I know what that reason is…IT’S HOT!! That’s right folks…It’s another hot one in my room. Honestly, I would prefer to sleep outside except that I don’t want the ridicule and stares that come with whipping out my crazy Tropic Screen Tent to protect my fragile body from the crazy mosquitoes. While everyone else sleeps on a straw mat and using a rock for a pillow (and I kid you not on that one), I will be in my “space pod” with a mattress and a pillow…hmmmm…I don’t think so!

Anyway, so I am sitting here sweating bullets while I type this. It is a horrible trade off…fan or computer, fan or computer…they can’t both be plugged in at once—I only have one outlet in my room. I chose the computer for now…but pardon me if this is a short entry. I received my first packages today…THANKS MOM! It took quite a while for them to get here, and one of the boxes had to be bagged in a sack because it absolutely fell apart. So far though, NO LETTERS!! Where are you guys? Are you out there? You can’t be that busy…come on! Hehehe…just kidding.

I just realized that the reason I might be so awake is because of the sugar high that I now have from eating all the candy that is in the box my mom sent me…hmmmm….good idea/bad idea? Whose to say.

Anyway, back to my train of thought…which there really isn’t one, but stick with me here. I had my interview for site placement, and I will find out next week where in Burkina I will be living, and in what job I will be working. When I say “job” I mean that in the loosest sense possible…because generally you end up doing a lot of things. I am in the SED Program (or en francais, Petit ey Moyens Enterprise). There are 4 main areas that we can work in: (1) Tourism, (2) Agribusiness/Artisans, (3) ICT – Information/Communication Technology, and (4) Microfinance. In my interview I basically said anything would be fine except Microfinance…can any of you see me working in a bank?? NO!!!! Hehehe. I really don’t know where I am going to get placed, and although it worries me a little, I am sure that things will work out for the best (I say that now anyway). I told them that I wanted a smaller village, and that as long as I had cell phone service I didn’t care whether I had electricity or internet access. I also said that I wanted to live in the SOUTH of the country…like FAR SOUTH…so hopefully that message got through to them. I hear that there are palm trees, rolling hills, green, veggies, and all sorts of fun stuff down there…and I want to go. No desert for me thank you very much! I know you are hanging on the edge of your seat waiting to find out where I will be living…it’s okay…next Thursday is the day.

Anyway, I need to focus on something else. I realized today that it is exactly 4 weeks today that I have been living in Burkina Faso. So, let’s have a “4 Weeks Later Update.” I have found here that the longer I am here the more “accepting” I am of a lot of things. Most of this applies to things related to hygiene and cleanliness, but I will humor you with some stories.

When I first arrived, I was appalled by the look of the flush toilets. I wouldn’t even THINK about plopping down on one of those without breaking out the toilet seat cover. Now, 4 weeks later…flush toilets are a thing of beauty…no matter what condition they’re in. I can’t wait to get back to NYC and think that the local Starbuck’s bathroom is the freakin’ Ritz!

In the good ‘ol US of A I would not have put up with bugs in my food. No siree! But, 4 weeks later…I figure what the hell…all I have been eating is carbs, and that is a good source of protein!

When I first arrived I found it a bit odd that people just dug around in their nostril for whatever prize or booger they were looking for. Now, it doesn’t even phase me that she is able to eat, hold her child, talk, and pick her nose at the same time. I think it’s a real skill…truly.

Originally upon arrival here I cringed at the site of ANY insect. However, yesterday when I had my first cockroach attack I barely flinched. I opened the door and when I saw it I started backing away..I kid you not, that sucker (which was about the 3 inches long) followed me around the living room while I backed away from it. It wanted me bad…but then my host sister came in and smashed it with a shoe…there is no way in words I could ever describe the “crunch” that it caused.

Well, like I said…it’s either fan or computer…and I am frickin’ hot now…so I am gonna cut this little exercise short and say goodbye (au revoir). I have my LPI on Saturday, so wish me luck…I need all that I can get.

Also, I have been encountering a lot of questions via IM and email…so I have an idea. Below each blog entry is a comments section…leave your questions in the comment section and I will be happy to answer them as soon as I can. The Peace Corps is all about cross-cultural exchange, and sharing my experience…so let’s get to sharing! What do you want to know?

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