Monday, June 25, 2012

Trent thinks about returning and describes his 2 bike flips

So my blog is now going to be twisting a little bit. For the most part my adventures are over after 2 years. I have adjusted to life here and really it takes a lot to surprise me anymore; I am now going to be talking about readjusting to America and the things like that. I am planning on wrapping the blog up around the beginning of September. So expect a change in the next couple of postings; mostly about what I am thinking about. Hope it is still enjoyable. So I have 46 days until I come home. I am currently in Kaya and will really actually just be applying for jobs and doing some last minute paperwork. I have Camp Glow towards the end of the month and I have my replacement coming and visiting me in 2 weeks. It is weird to think about the fact that I am going to have someone new living in what I have called my house for 2 years. I hope they don't mind my paint job. :) I am currently searching for jobs in Indianapolis. I have thought about it and I think that I can be happy in Indy. I am going to go back and spend a year in Indy and decide if this is what I want out of life. If it is not what I want... I can go exploring again. I am also waiting to hear back from the Foreign Service Officer Test that I took. I don't think that I passed; but who knows. That could influence some decisions. Especially if I have the threat of going back to no job. I told my dad online the other day that I am interested to see how I act back in Americaland. I am American and have been American for 24 years; but I have spent the last 2 years on Africa time. I have spent 2 years away from friends, family, and my culture. Coming back is an exciting because it is like a new adventure into an old culture. I have friend who are married, living with people, on the borderline of getting married, with new careers, and I haven't been around for any of it. People are like puzzle pieces and certain people click together and others don't, but one thing that makes people different from puzzle pieces is that they change. You may fit with someone sometime; but two years and countless adventures later, that might not be the case. So it is going to be interesting to see how much my shape has changed to other people in my life. Even better to see how I am going to find my space in the puzzle. Sorry this blog isn't as funny as some of my other ones; but I will leave you a funny/sad story of my getting hurt; because I know its what you sick puppies love to read about. So about 2 weeks ago I went to Fada to get my sand read. ( I will write more about this another time... maybe) While I was there; a donkey cart stops in front of me while I am biking so I try to go around it and a lady with a food cart has decided to walk back to her food cart right at that time and I slam on my brakes to not knock the poor lady down and flip over my handlebars and roll around and scrape up my arm. I just said; dammit and got back on the bike. I was fine... The next day; I take a bus back to Ouagadougou and am riding my bike to the transit house and a moto comes speeding up the road and I stop so that I don't get in front of it and guess what happens... I fly over the handlebars...again. This time though I flip over on a softer landing... my computer case. I am laughing while the people come over and ask if I am ok. I just can't believe 2 days in a row I did that. I look inside and my computer screen is busted. O'well at least it lasted me 2 years. I hope everyone is doing well; and I will try an update this a few more times before I leave. Trent

Friday, April 6, 2012

Trent battles with a freezer... its a draw.

So this is a special update to keep you informed about the various hilarious ways that Africa likes to cause me pain/ tries to kill me.

So last night I am going to the shop that is near my house and I am trying to buy some ice. I say " ye zaabre" (Good Evening) to Assami (my friend and shop owner) and ask him if he has any ice. He apologizes and says no. I ask him if he at least has some bissap that is starting to turn into ice (or bien forme). He tells me that I have to look. There is a little girl who is near me and tells me that there might be some in the back.

I touch the first one and it is not that icy so I reach into the back and grab one back there... at this point I start to get electrocuted. Now, when I say electrocuted, I mean really electrocuted. This is not like the times when I have been shocked at my house by various electronic devices.

My body tenses and I am not able to move and I stiffen. I don't think I screamed because my mouth was tensed shut. I got electrocuted and couldn't move for about 5 seconds and the other people around me start screaming and Assami runs to turn off the power. I fall face first into the upright fridge and take out about 4 shelves of bissap/ zoom koom/ other various drinks and fall to the ground covered in said sugary drinks of various colors.

Two Burkinabe men carry me to a bench and start talking to me. I was impressed that after being shocked that I could still talk to them in French. They tell me I need to go to the hospital (across the street, literally). I tell them no and call my PCMO. The PCMO asks me to look out for electrical burns and stuff, but if I am not burnt... I'll live. I had the shakes for a good 10 mins afterward and felt like I ran 5K... at least I am assuming that is what my legs felt like, lord knows; I have never ran a 5K and have no plans of doing so in the future. I would also be worried about brain damage, but even if it was there... I doubt too many people would notice.

I feel fine now and the PCMO even called me later that night to make sure I was ok. I know that I am integrated because I just kept thinking, I need to go down and show everyone that I am alright; or they will think that Assami tried to kill the Nasaara. So everyone saw that I was alright and people feel better. They are going to get an electrician to look at the freezer.

The PCMO told me that I should write a book. That is bad coming from someone who has been doing medical work for over 20 years. What can I say... I'm my dad's son. We get hurt in hilarious ways that continue to amuse people for years to come.

Also it was fun because I got visited by 3 different groups of people this morning all making sure that I was ok. It goes to reassure me that I am integrated and they don't want me to die.

So the freezer electrocuted me and covered me in sugary colored drink, but I took out 4 of its shelves... I consider it a draw.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Trent sees hippos... and freaks out.

Wow! It has been a while since I have updated people, so allow me to share some of my stories. March was a busy month; but I am going to talk about my vacation and COS (Close of service) conference.

I met up with Diana Williams on Weds to take the long trek to Banfora. Our journey consisted of leaving Ouagadougou at 10:30. We arrived at the bus station at 9:30 and were shocked to find that Rehemo has ticket machines and wi-fi in the bus station. I had no clue what country I was in. So we get loaded on the bus and our journey started. We stopped in Boromo at about 1:30 and that bus station was ridiculous. I got attacked by women all trying to sell me sesame. I did buy my first packet of village bread though, and it was delicious. We get back on the road and end up at Bobo about 15:30 (I decided I am using military time in the states; get over it). We walk to the corner and some guys in a bush taxi pick us up and we are on the way to Banfora. On the way to Banfora, our tire blows out and we get stuck by the side of the road for an hour. We get the tire fixed and finally make it to Banfora by 18:00.

Now, I think I have a nice house in Kaya, but Jenn's house makes my house look like a shack. She has a toilet!!! I know, I am easily impressed. It was a wonderful place to stay; minus the humidity. It gets hot in Kaya, but it dries very quickly. You just sweat a lot in the south and stay sticky. Not my favorite thing in the world.

So on Thursday, we lay around Banfora and don't really do much. We visit a hotel that makes its own delicious rum (which we try) and prepare a car to take us to see the hippos, the domes, and the waterfalls.

The next day, we leave Banfora to go to Tangrala at 6:30. We get there before the park is even open and we get a guy to sneak us in and take us out to see the hippos. The boat we get in is an old rickety rowboat. We cannot move too much or we will capsize. I was fine with this, because the water was not deep. We start on our way to see the hippos and we pass tons of pretty water lilies. Then, we get near the hippos. I see the hippos from far off and think, "wow, those are bigger than I thought." We continue to get nearer to the hippos and I just keep thinking, I don't like this. Finally, he pulls the boat about 20-30 yards from the hippos and I start freaking out. I realize at this point, if the hippos go crazy, I am dead. We would have to run in water to shore. I am also in an old boat that will capsize if I stand up. The guy starts to move closer and I turn around and tell him to stop and he laughs. I tell him to take us away NOW, and he laughs at me and shows me the water is not deep. He doesn't understand that I am not afraid of the 4 feet of water, I am afraid of the 500lb circle of hippos 20 yards away. He starts to move us closer and I turn around and tell him I am going to hit him if he doesn't stop. At this point, I am in a near panic and have both hands grabbing onto the wooden board I am sitting on for dear life. Jenn and Diana are just looking at me like I am crazy; but trying to also be supportive. Finally, we leave and when we get back to shore, I am fine. This is one of those things that I am glad that I did, but will never do again.

After that, we got in a taxi and went to see the domes. The domes are these rock formations that you can climb and are really pretty because they used to be underwater. When it comes to natural wonders, I really don't care. I think they are wonderful; but:
1. I like nature; but I don't really like being in it.
2. I am more interested in people and culture

So, we climbed up the domes and I ripped a huge hole in the crotch of my pants, which made for a nice breeze. We looked around for about 15 minutes and decided we should take some more time to enjoy the view and waited around another 10 minutes; got bored and left.

Finally, on our last pit stop we went to the cascades. These are basically some natural waterfalls in Banfora area. They were nice and we were able to take some great pictures; but again, not my cup of tea. We were able to see another volunteer named James though and see a hotel/restaurant he was helping to build. That was nice.

We got back in Banfora and spent the rest of time relaxing in Jenn's house and preparing for our trip back to Ouaga. We left Banfora Sat at about 14:00 and got to the Bobo office at 16:00. It was funny, because there was a huge craft fair going on in Bobo and none of the volunteers had a place to stay, so we found a restaurant that had an extra room and we slept 5 volunteers in it. I slept wonderfully; but apparently the others did not. I think a mattress on the floor is great though.

We left Bobo at 730 in the morning and made our way back to Ouaga and to the Hotel Excellence and started our COS conference.

The COS conference was hosted by Eli and she supplied us with tons of information about getting a job when you come back to the United States. Not only that, but she helped us with our resumes and gave us her email and told us we could email her with any questions that we had. It was the best conference in all of my Peace Corps service. I wish that it could have gone on longer. There were tons of information and very little time. I am not going to go into the details of the conference; but it was informational.

After the conference, I had two days to fill until the COS party; so I went back to site and had Shannon W and Jenn come and visit me. It was fun and we really didn't do much besides shop or as people here have been saying, retail therapy. I didn't buy anything, but it was still fun.

We went back to Ouaga on Saturday and had ourselves a wonderful party filled with ridiculous outfits and good food (Mexican). I am now back at site and am starting to think about the future and the stuff that I need to get done here before I leave and the stuff I need to prepare for in the states. If you see any good job openings that need someone to start around Sept 1st. Keep me in mind. ;)

My official COS date is Aug 8th. I should be back in Indiana Aug 10th. See you guys sooner than you think.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Trent catches people up on life...

So it is February. I have been living live in Burkina now for 20 months!!! 7 months left to go.

This past weekend Emma and I got together on Sat and Sunday and painted a world AIDS day mural. It says Journee Mondiale de SIDA and has a red ribbon. We have to wait until the CSPS (local hospital) does an HIV/ AIDS training and then we will have them put hand prints on the wall as their commitment to fight HIV/AIDS. On a side note the HIV rate here is actually very low. It is a little low because it is under reported, but also we are just not that HIV positive of a country thanks to foreign trainings and stuff. Go Burkina. Now we just need to start also battling Malaria.

So have come to the realization that I sometimes think I don't have stuff to right about because my life is pretty boring. This thought then made me realize that I have been here entirely too long, because crazy things do happen here; I just don't realize they are crazy. The fact that not 10 minutes ago I heard something knocking over my spices in my kitchen and I go in there and lift up my stove and chase a mouse out of the kitchenette and I thought it was nothing, is not a good thing.

Today was a bizarre day though. Last night we had dust storm and I just thought we had some heavy winds. I get up and go about my day, but I did not see the sun once today. It was blocked out by the dust. That and it was about 20 degrees cooler than it had been on other days. I should have known that it was going to happen because the day before I had cleaned my kitchenette and scrubbed it clean and made sure it was dust free. So much for that...

I have 7 weeks until my Close of Service Conference and I am pumped up. Not only do I get to see all the people from my stage again, but I also get information about how to put Peace Corps on an application and get my resume looked at. I am excited about it. I will actually be able to start applying for jobs and stuff. I feel silly applying in April when I know I can't start until Sept., but o well.

I am trying to think of things that I might want to do here before I leave. I have a trip planned to go visit the southwest of the country finally. I am going a week before the COS trip. I will be visiting Jennifer in lovely Banfora. It should be fun. I am excited to see her house. I also think I might try to find where the people make the leather things in Kaya and try to see if I can figure out how they make some of the stuff. I can be a leather smith. I actually just think it would be cool to make something to bring back with me.

I have been researching cruises for my way home. Right now I am looking at a transatlantic cruise that leaves Hamburg, Germany and would put me back in New York on Aug 28. If Hamburg turns out to be to expensive (which it might be) then instead I will be leaving Southampton UK and will be arriving Aug 28th in New York. It looks like a fun cruise with Cunard Cruises. My fingers are crossed that it will work out and I will be able to cruise back to Americaland relaxed and with a few extra lbs.

That is all for now, QUESTIONS<<< COMMENTS?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Trent goes on vacation and learns to respect the ocean.

Hello everyone!!! I hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas and that you will have a Happy New Year. I know that I am having a great December. How about I tell you all about it. Sound good?

So everyone knows that my friend/old college roommate Jade was coming to visit me. I am going to start there. Nothing really much happened before that.

So I have to get a taxi out to airport at 10:30 at night to meet Jade at the airport. I call one of the taxis and he agrees to take me and even says he will sleep at the airport until she arrives. This works out to my advantage. So I go the airport and wait for her plane to come in. She arrives about midnight, and we leave the airport about 1. We go straight to the hotel and talk about her flight and stuff and we finally get to sleep about 3. We get up at 6:30 and we head over to the Transit house and then I head to the Peace Corps bureau because I had an appointment. I get back and then I realize Jade needs to exchange her money out as well. So we wait again. A series of events continue to happen that doesn't allow us to leave Ouagadougou until 3. At this point, Jade gets to experience her first of many buses in Africa.

We arrive in Kaya and I have to argue to get Emma's bike from the guy at the gare and then we take a taxi to my house and we get to see the town of Kaya. Jade just pretty much thinks its cool, but dirty. We arrive at my house and I give her the grand tour, it lasted all but 30 seconds. That night I brought some brochettes and had a brochette sandwich for supper and Jade at some of the pizza that she had for lunch in Ouaga. Also about this time, Jade takes a shower and rinses off and makes a comment about if I knew that I had a few big spiders in my shower. I told her yes. I then told her about my leasing agreement where spiders can stay as long as they stay above my head. Later that night, one was on the floor and it had to be killed. After that, We watched some movies and sleep.

The next day is Jades adventure in Kaya day. We started out at my school for a small tour of where I work and what I do. She did not get to see my classroom because I gave the key to another professor. She did get to meet some of my professor friends who were very nice and only a few asked if she was my wife and if not if they could have her. This was to be expected. After that I took her out to lunch and we ate with Grace. We ate at the Orphan restaurant. It was delicious as always and I even saw some other people eating there for once besides just us. I am hoping they can continue to be open, because their food is amazing; even if I can't afford to eat there everyday. After that we went to Jade's favortie part of going to a foreign country... Shopping. I showed her around my marche (market) and had her see all the things that I buy and a couple of my friends in the marche. She saw where I buy meat at and her only comment was, I can't believe you eat that. After that I took her to my leather marche and let her go crazy. I am not going to ruin the surprises of the things that she bought, but it was alot. I came to the marche with an empty messenger bag and I left carrying it full and another big bag of stuff. After that we went back to my house and ate and watched some Modern Family. We went to sleep, because we knew we were going back to Ouaga tomorrow.

The next day we get up and make our way back to Ouaga. Jade gets to experience her second bus ride, but this time on a big comfortable bus that comes to Kaya I believe once a day. We arrive in Ouaga and drop our stuff off at the hotel and head to the transit house so that Jade and I can get our last hot showers for the next 12 days. After that we (Jade, Shannon, Diana, and I) go out to eat at La Vita where Jade and I get some Chicken Fingers and fries. That day was the day that the new group of volunteers swore in, so after that we went to De Niros (a bar in Ouaga with pool and cheap drinks) and partied with the new volunteers and other volunteers who had come in to see the swear in. Shannon and I drank and Jade and Diana watched. It was a lot of fun, but we left about midnight to get a taxi home because we had to get up at 6 to catch a taxi to the Gare Routier to get on our bus to go to Ghana.

The next morning we get up to go to Ghana and wait for the taxi to take us to the gare. He is a half and hour late, but this was to be expected. TIA (This is Africa; I am telling you this now, because I will be using it a lot in this article I think). We arrive at the Gare and the bus is supposed to leave at 8, but ends up leaving about 9:30 TIA. We are on the bus for about 2.5 hours until we reach the border. That is when all the craziness happens. When you get off the bus you give your passport to a guy who hands it to the Burkina guard, after this you have guys running at you with piles of money trying to get your money. They want you to exchange your CFA(Burkina Money) for CEDE(Ghanaian Money). They are yelling and crowding you and one guy accidently stepped on my flip flop and almost knocked me over. I get into my bag and get my money out and finally get it exchanged with one of the guys. I did not like this process. After wards you wait until they give you your passport back and your walk across the border. Then you get to the Ghana side where they scan your passports in and take a picture of your face and things. It is really high tech versus a guy who just kinda looks at your passport.

After that it was on a bus for the next 15 hours. We made some stops along the way and I got to eat some delicious chicken and fried rice, but it was still a long bus ride. We arrived at Kumasi at 1 in the morning and waited for the next bus to come at 4 in the morning. We got on that bus and it took us about 6 hours to get to Cape Coast. By the time we arrived, we were happy to go to our hotel and just relax for a while. Our hotel here was Hans Cottage Botel. This was a wonderful hotel. It had one of the most bizzare and awesome pools that I had ever seen. The pool was rectangular and once you stepped in there was another rectangle inside that was about 3 foot wide and about 1 foot deep. Then you stepped into that rectangle and there was an L shaped area that was 6 foot deep or two small squares that were about 3 foot deep and 5 foot deep. It had a slide also. Not only this but they had a gift shop and a restaurant that was on a lake. Inside of the lake were fish and crocodiles. The crocodiles were fun to watch while you ate. Also they would feed the fish and you could see the crocodiles come and eat the fish. It was nice and the beds were the best that I have slept in while in Africa. While we were in Cape Coast we went to a slave castle that was used when the British were exporting slaves to America and other places and we also went to Kakum National Park and did a tree top walk. Now, this tree top walk was a literally made of rope, metal ladders, and wooden boards. I felt pretty safe on it, but it shook alot and at some spots the ropes on the side of the bridge were not as high as my chest, so I could have fallen if I was in my klutzy Trent mode. The good news is that I was only about 120 feet off the ground at its tallest, so only enough to kill me. It was beautiful though. After that we stopped by a place that said it was a monkey sanctuary called Monkey Forest Resort. It was not a resort, but it had all kinds of monkeys and was run by the nicest and most fun people ever. They showed us all kinds of monkeys, turtles, civets, a couple of birds, and a couple of snakes. After the tour we sat down and just talked with them. They were telling us about living in Ghana and thier lives. It was my favorite part of Cape Coast. After three days in Cape Coast we left and went to our next city. Busua.

Busua was only about 2 hours away from Cape Coast. We took a tro tro (the ghana equivelent of a Bush Taxi) to Takoradi and then a taxi to the Alaskan. This was the most relaxing part of the trip. We stayed at the Alaskan which is a hotel right on the beach. We had a little hut with 4 beds in it and there were trees lined up with hammocks in them. The restaurant at the Alaskan was amazing and I ate BBQ Chicken and Hamburgers. For lunch, we would go to the Black Star restaurant and eat Burritos or pasta. We went swimming everyday and I did my favorite activity, talk to people. Each days I would go out in Busua and talk to people and I made friends. I am too much like my mother. it was cool though because 2 nights while I was there I went over to a guys house and played some Playstation soccer with him and his friends.

I did have one little mishap while on Busua beach. I was swimming and talking to a Canadian girl. She was watching her friend swim and we started talking because we were both staying at the Alaskan. We kept talking and jumping into the waves and it was a lot of fun. We started talking about how it was weird because the water kept getting cold then hot, then cold then hot. It was strange. So as we are talking we feel a current pulls us really hard and we say go lets go to the beach. So we start swimming and she is a much better swimmer than me and the current just goes crazy and starts pulling us. She gets out of it and heads for the beach. I am not so fortunate. I start getting pulled... and pulled... and pulled. I try swimming against it, but the more that I try the farther I go. I try for about a minute then I quit swimming and just worry about floating. I then start to yell for help. I realize that I am screwed. The more I try to go for the beach, the more the current pulls against me. I see the Canadian girl and she is on the beach yelling for someone to help me. As I am floating, I keep thinking the same thing... I cannot die this way, this is a stupid way to die. Then I finally get myself calmed down and I say, well I may get carried out to sea, but enough people have saw me go that they will get a jet ski and come save me, so I just need to worry about not drowning. Finally, I look up and see a German guy coming towards me with a football in his hand and he is telling me to swim sideways, so I swim sideways and he is telling me calmly to swim towards him and as I do, I realize I am making progress and I am going back to the beach. I reach him and I realize I can stand up and I walk to the beach. This is when I recieve the information that if you are ever caught in a current you are supposed to swim sideways to get out of the current. Information that I did not know, because I have swam in an ocean maybe 3 times my entire life. So now, if I ever start to get pulled out to the ocean again, I know my safety rules. I also learned the rule of if the water keeps changing temperature... get out. So that was my, Oh my God, I am going to die moment. I feel every vacation needs at least one of those... Right?

After that, I was done with the ocean. Which was fine, because our next location was the Desert Rose Lodge. It was run by a Swedish couple and it was a resort by itself. It had a pool and pool tables and was a nice out of the way place to stay. We were staying there for the holiday though and the count was 7 Swedes, 7 Aussies, and 6 Americans. 2 of the Americans were with the Aussies and we made up the other four. It was almost like an International Spring Break. I learned how to play a new game called Kubb which is awesome and is kinda like a Cornhole, but with sticks. We drank and played pool and darts on Christmas Eve, which is when the Swedish celebrate Christmas, and then on Christmas they roasted a pig and it tasted amazing.

The morning after Christmas we left and started our long journey back to Ouaga. We were really excited when we learned we caught our bus back to Ouaga, because we thought that we were going to miss it. Now we are back in Ouaga and Jade leaves at 6 am tomorrow. It has been great having her with me and really awesome to have someone from home who knows about the the things that I do and how I live. It was great for her to see these things. One of the other great benefits is that she is going to be posting pictures. Yes, that is right pictures. I will maybe post a few on here, but if not, they will be linked on my facebook. Finally, you get to see some pictures of things.

Well I know this has been a long one, but again I hope everyone here has a wonderful New years. I have people coming up to Kaya to celebrate. I will give you a shorter blog post about that later.

I love you all and let the countdown begin. 7 months left.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Trent hunts a child...

Ok so I realize that I have been sucking as of late and that my blog entries are about as boring as watching paint dry. I apologize to you (by you, I mean my faithful readers). So I am going to try to zap some energy into this one. Watch out, because here I go.

Ok, so about 3 weeks ago I was lazy and gave 2 kids 5 mille to go buy me milk. I gave them both 100cfa as a gift to go do this. The next day I was out 5200cfa. The kids never came back. So I told my bread guy about this and he said that he knew who the kids were and would tell me. So I waited. It paid off yesterday...

I was having a bad day. My kids would not listen and were just basically laughing and playing the whole class. I had a kid after class who kept calling me Nasara and would not stop; so I threw rocks at him in frustration. I know there should be better ways, but whatever. Judge me.

So I am walking up to my bread guy and he tells me that right there is one of the kids who took my five mille. I turn and look at him. He looks at me. I feel like a hunter who has seen the deer and the deer has seen him and they are both just waiting for the other one to make a move. I tell him that I just want to talk to him. He tells me that his friend is the one who took the money and I should talk to him. Well sure enough, guess who walks around the corner... I see him and he sees me and he starts running away.

However, there is a problem with Burkinabe, they want to see things. I know this. I know that he will want to taunt me a little. So I wait. Sure enough a minute later he is peaking his head around the corner. I walk around the corner and he has moved up to the next building. I give my bag to the brochette (meat on a stick) guy and I wait. He comes back around the corner and sees me, I see him. Then the chase is on. I start running and he starts running.

I know that I have no chance in hell in actually catching this kid. He is an Burkinabe child. He is physically made to run away from lions and shit. I am a fat American who is physically made to... well, not chase Burkinabe children. So after about 3 blocks, I lose him. He is gone, but I have made my point; which is that I will get you eventually.

I go back to where my bag is and there is a small crowd of people and they are all berating the first kid who took my money. I go up and shake his hand and ask him if he will do it again. He says, no with a look of absolute shame and unsure if I am going to beat the living shit out of him. I say ok and start to walk away. (ok honestly I told him ok, but if you steal again I will use my Nasara magic and send a snake after you while you sleep, but either way.)

I turn back and the people are yelling at him and are deciding whether to beat him and that is when I get angry. I turn around and tell them that it is just money and money comes and goes, it is not important and if I hear about anyone hitting this kid; I will be angry and I will come after them. There was an older Muslim man leading the charge and I looked at him and gave him the Burkinabe finger wag (which is very effective by the way) and told him that I would come for him if he continued to try to do any of this. He looked at me and did the palms up ok ok, like whatever you say (crazy Nasara) and let it go. This is one thing that I have learned from being a teacher. You speak to anyone in an authoritative tone and they take it as authority. I don't think it will be highly effective in the states, but it is a nice trick here.

Also, this will probably be my last blog until January. My friend/old roommate Jade will be visiting me in Burkina starting on Monday and the next Friday I go to Ghana. I am going to see how another third world country works. But this one has a beach!!!!

My time here in Peace Corps is coming to a slow halt. In March, I have my COS conference where they tell you everything you need to do to close your service. CLOSE OF SERVICE... Already? Only 8 months left here and I am already freaking out about what I am going to do in America. It seems so close... Crazy.

Hoping Everyone a Very Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Trent's students protest dust... no seriously.

So life in Kaya has been pretty normal as of late. I had a PSDN meeting last week and celebrated Carolyn's birthday with her and made sure the newsletter got out. I then returned to Kaya and have been teaching according to schedule pretty much. Then Today happened.

I am awakened by a call from Emma at 8 and she tells me that the kids are graving (aka: skipping school and protesting). I say ok, and try to call some professors to find out what is going on. I get a hold of one and he tells me that his wife had twins. I say; congratulations and I will come to the school in an hour. He then tells me the kids are graving because of the dust.

At first I thought he was kidding. I mean; I live near the Sahel and well; dust happens. It is right now the Hamartan and that means the dust is even worse; but how do you protest that. I arrive at my school and as I look down the road; I see that they have set up tons of little blockades using rocks or logs or other various materials and they have set some of them on fire.

I enter my school and just sit with my professors who are laughing and are just watching things happening. The students are protesting because they want a paved road to the school. I am in agreeance with them on this issue. We have one other main road that everyone uses in Kaya and it is not paved; however on this road is the Regional Hospital. It makes perfect sense to pave this road. However; apparently the way to get this done is to block the road and set it on fire. There were probably 300-500 kids (ages 7-25) protesting today. It was interesting to watch.

I don't know what finally happened; I think it was just the repo hours so it finally stopped. But it was interesting because a lot of the community seemed to be behind the kids. The kids didn't destroy anything (besides some trash) and no one got hurt. They even turned in a form that morning demanding what they wanted. All in all an interesting protest to watch. We have kids blocking a road here and burning things and no one gets pepper sprayed... Maybe a few policeman in the states should have seen this.