Monday, October 02, 2006

Here and safe...except for the chicken incident...

Hello all. Before I go in to the "chicken incident" I will update you on the happenings here in Burkina. Well I have made it to Burkina Faso in one piece...thank heavens. The flight was VERY long, and all the cold air made me sick. Oh well, sick will be relative onceI get SICK here in Burkina--which they assure us will happen.

I have been here for a week and so far so good. It is almost impossible to describe all that has happened in the past week, but it has been really great. The country is unbelievably beautiful in its own way. We landed in the capital where we stayed for a few days to get our vaccinations and to get settled. Then we moved up north to a city called, Ouaighouya. That is where we started training and got placed with our host families. There are two groups of volunteers here together, Health and Small Enterprised Development (my group). Our host families are based in the city so I have electricity and television. Don't let that fool you though...I still have to go poo (that's right, I sad "poo") in a hole about the size of a small soccer ball--VERY hard to aim, and I shower with a bucket in a stall. Luckily though, just for me, my host family put a door on the "bathroom" so that no one had to see me doing my business.

My host family is amazing!!I have 3 brothers and 1 sister. One of my brothers is 2 years old and he just has a run of the place. He runs around carrying random things as toys, and for fun likes to chase insects. It is so cute. They are so nice, and are extremely patient with me since I can't speak a drop of French really. There was a white woman on the news last night when we were watching television and they said that in two months I would talk like I am putting my faith in them!

We have 9 weeks of training in language and my technical area before I become a volunteer and move to a site by there is a lot of work ahead.

Okay, enough update...I know you are only here to hear about the "chicken incident." So, on our second day in Ouaighouya we had to go to the palace and salute the chief of the region. It is customary for us to pay our respects. Well, of course our group had to bring a gift right? I was the lucky one selected to bring this gift to him. The gift turned out to be a live chicken and some kola nuts...YEAH! So, we are sitting in this hot room waiting for him to come out and greet us. I have the LIVE chicken in one hand and the bag of nuts in the other. After a while one of the Peace Corps staff tells me Ican set the chicken down on its sad (it won't run away he says). A few min. later, while the king is addressing us someone starts whispering, "chicken, chicken." I was like "I know, I's not time yet!" I thought they were telling me to take it up there. Well, they were trying to tell me that the chicken was on its feet...STANDING!! I look down and as soon as I do the thing darts away from me. One of the host country nationals reaches her hand out SO fast and grabs the thing by the ass and quickly hands him back to me (keep in mind this is happening all while the king is speaking!!!). The thing skwaks a bit but nothing too bad. Well, as I am holding himb by his feet he decides he doesn't want to be there anymore. He starts flapping around like crazy and all I cand do is close my eyes? hold him out to the side of my chair by his feet, and hope he doesn't fly away. Luckily, I held on and presented the gift to the chief. WHEW...I avoided a rqther embarrasing situation, but oh was I embarrassed! My fist encounter with holding a live of the many new encounters that I will have here.

Anyway, this is long and I am hungry so I am gonna sign off for now. Thanks for reading and PLEASE stay in touch. The address listed on here is CORRECT so get those letters written. I promise to write back. Love you all, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Bon soir!


Anonymous said...

Good grief, way to make an entrance.

Anonymous said...

Be glad you're not like a BK missionary friend of mine. They had to kill and butcher the chicken.
He said:" From now on I only want to see chicken in its natural habitat....wrapped in plastic and styrofoam in the meat cooler at Krogers!"

Good luck....