In an effort to collapse our trip into one readable blog, I will a few of Mom's Burkina Moments:
- Arriving at 3 a.m. and sleeping until noon the next day. We got a lot done that day!
- Asking me EVERY TIME we ate, whether I thought what we were eating was "safe to eat." Then, refusing to use any glasses for fear of water contamination. Maybe I should have bought her a hazmat suit?
- Watching 20 men push start our bus to get to Banfora, mom taking a picture, and then being accosted by those 20 men to pay for the picture we had just taken.
- The look on Mom's face as our taxi pulled up to take us off-roading. Okay, granted the doors were about to fall off, and he had a rubber mat on the floor to cover the holes with which a foot could fall through. But, still, it was a trusty machine that got us from A to B...even if Mom didn't think it would.
- The look on Mom's face when I showed her the bathroom/shower, and she looked puzzled as the shower head was right over the toilet...yeah...well at least you can pee and shower at the same time.
- Mom running and screaming as the bat that decided to take residence in my house then decided to fly around the room. I swear if flew right at me! Even better...the look on Mom's face when the 11 year old boy in my courtyard attempted to kill it with a corn stalk. The bat ended up getting caught in spider webs near the ceiling of my house (I knew there was a reason I didn't clean those things out).
- The curse of NO ANIMALS (aside from our bat incident I guess) - all Mom wanted to do was see some animals, and it seemed we were thwarted in every way. The game parks did not call us back to make reservations. The hippos (who are always at the same place in the river in my village) deciding to migrate downstream for the week. The DISASTER that was Boromo (including being stuck in the mud for 20 minutes and me getting covered in mud from the flying tires) and seeing TONS of elephant poop but alas no elephants. We didn't even get to see the pet monkey in my village. This trip was definitely devoid of all things "animal"."Wasn't meant to be mama!
- Sadly, getting my bag stolen off the STAF bus on the way from visiting my host family in Ouahigouya. Unfortunately, there were a whole lot of expensive items in there that I won't mention...mostly to save myself the embarrassment of being thought stupid...
There were a lot of funny moments, some frustrating ones, and even a few scary ones...but over all I can not say how much it meant to me that she came. No one can understand what it is like here unless they come--and I think she would attest to this. There is no way to even imagine it in your head until you come here and see what my life is like...up close and personal. I am grateful that I had at least one person do that...someone I could talk to about it and they would understand. So, THANKS MOM!!
So, her time expired and here I am adjusting back to my normal life. I am in Ouaga for the next couple weeks working with the new volunteers on some training things. I am also working to organize the big blowout COS Party. It is a party held twice a year to say goodbye to those people who have completed their 2 year service. It is a day of events, and has definitely been a handful to organize.
On a good note, last January I applied for this grant from Disney called the Disney Minnie Grant. They give grants to organizations that are organizing events around Global Youth Service Day, April 25-27. I applied to get funding for my school garden that I am hoping to establish at my local middle school. I was under a hell of a crunch to get the application in and filled it out in a day (it was a 10 page application!!!). A few days ago I got the email and.........................I GOT IT!! Woo hoo! It is a $500 grant that will help me buy all the necessary equipment to really get this garden started. On April 25th we are going to have the inaugural planting of the garden, compost demonstrations (taught by students), health classes (taught by the students), and much more. I am really excited about this project, and a little scared because of the time crunch. But, I am just going to hit the ground running and get this thing together. The potential of this project to really benefit the kids is huge...SO YAY YAY YAY!!
The seasons are changing, the rain is coming months too early (thank you Global Warming), the air is stifingly hot...the hot season is fully upon us. There are tough times ahead...hope you are all staying warm there, while I try to stay cool here. I will keep you updated...stay close!