Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Village caroling, un-symmetrical green beans, and much more...

Hey you guys! How is it going? I am in Bobo enjoying the food and company of other English-speaking people. I came in to town to buy paint and brushes for my 3 1/2 x 7 foot world map that myself and the kids at my local middle school are doing. I am by no means artistic...so we will see how this goes. I will try to get pictures up for you! Next week is my marketing seminar with 10 local businessmen in my village...so that should be very interesting as well. I am trying to kick off the New Year with a bang, and to stay busy so that I don't drive myself crazy. Thus far, my saving grace has been Mike and his most generous DVD burner -- I haven't missed an episode of my fave shows thanks to him and my car-batter powered portable DVD player. God bless technology...nuff said!

Things in village have been relatively quiet...the hippos are out in full force in the river, the temperature is dropping below 60 at night, and I haven't been too sick lately. You can't ask for much more now can you? A few days after New Year's the village band decided to tour around and do their version of caroling. A group of about 100+ kids showed up at my house along with a drummer and a balaphone (kind of life wooden bells) player. They jammed in my courtyard for about 10 minutes while the kids danced and sang and ran around. It was really amazing. Here is a picture from that event:

I don't know if you recall my talk about green beans in the last entry...but wow, they are everywhere. A few days after I saw the refrigerated truck depart Banzon to take 10 tons of green beans to the French public...I saw it come back to Banzon. Weird? I think so. After further inquiry, it turns out that evidently the French are a little pickier about their green beans than I would have thought. The company purchasing the green beans sent ALL of the 10 TONS back to Banzon because they said that they weren't all the same length. WHAT?!?! I separated those green beans...and they were the most gorgeous and unblemished specimens I had ever seen...I guess just not perfect enough for the French. Green beans are now piled high in the market, and you can get 2 kilos of them for less then 15 cents! I have been stuffing my face with them every day...sauteed, boiled, steamed...any way a green bean can be made I eat it. The villagers seem to be pretty upset and dissappointed by what happened. According to one of my village friends, they invested 2 million CFA ($4500) of their own money into starting the harvest of the green beans, and had stood to profit 620,000 CFA ($1400)...but now that the company has sent back all the beans, they are not even sure if they are going to pay them anything. It really is such a shame. I have never seen the villagers so mobilized and motivated about a project. Everyone I knew at one point or another was working out in the green beans fields. I say to the company that sent them back....SHAME ON YOU! Green Beans taste the same whether they are a centimeter longer or shorter than the other. To all my readers...Just say NO to symmetrical green beans!

Okay...enough of that...well, other than that there isn't much going on to fill you in about. My mom FINALLY booked her ticket to come and see me: Feb. 25th - March 10th. I am so excited about her upcoming visit, and my villagers have quite a few things planned for her. I will leave you with the following picture that I took while sitting in my market...can you spot the irregularity?

Do you notice anything wrong with this picture?

Hope 2008 is treating you well thus far...Stay Close!


NanettePC said...

you are so funny. it really sucks that the green beans came back. all that work for nothing. you sound good. the map project sounds awesome! i know you'll take pics! can't wait to see it! happy TV watching! miss you much darling.

Burkina Connection said...

As a member of Friends of Burkina Faso, I'm reaching out to all current PCVs in Burkina right now. We are trying to win "America's Giving Challenge" and we need your help. I'm hoping that you'll have internet access soon and that you'll be willing to upload the widget from the project website onto your blog. Help spread the word so that this project wins an additional $50,000! Merci.