Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trent takes a petit repose to an arts festival and buys nothing.

So this weekend (Halloween Weekend) I took a trip to Ouaga. Now this is the capital of Burkina Faso, but I came in for a special reason. It was the International Arts Fair that only happens once every two years. I will probably never have a chance to see it again. It was amazing and the art made me want to buy everything there, but I decided not to. I was good and did not buy anything because I am on a peace corps salary and I didn't want to be eating only spaghetti for the rest of the month. Although that seems to be all that I eat anyway. While I was in Ouaga I also got to pick up my packages. Yes my packages. I received one from my mother that was packed full of spices and amazing goodness, then another one with candy and GQ magazine from my friends the Kruse's. I just have to say it was candy in the box so that everyone knows that a dietitian sent me candy. Hold it against her. I want to thank you all for what was inside. I will be using them all. I also weighed myself and I am at 90 kilos. Which is 198lbs. When I left I was about 223-225ish I think. So I am maintaining right now. So I am good and leveled off and will probably stay this way for a while. Now one bad thing is that my internet key at site has been messing up as of late. I have no clue why and cannot figure out the problem. I am hoping it will fix itself when I get back, because apparently internet keys around the country haven't been working. I am writing this from the transit house adn its really late at night, but I wanted to do it tonight so I know that I can get it done.

I also have been able to hang out with some people from my stage and that was alot of fun. I was so excited to see them and hang out. It was like seeing some of my friends from home. I did hang out with some new friends tonight and we spoke mostly french, so I am still keeping up with that.

Now we ate at verdoyant today and one of my friends ordered le pain. Which in french is Rabbit. Can I tell you it was delicious and I think I may have to eat that next time that I come here. Lord knows I have probably already eaten all kinds of other meat, I was like why not.

Now I have a camera now and I have taken some pictures.... but I did not receive a USB cord so that I can upload them to my computer. I am hoping that when I get home the cord for my other camera will work and I can upload a few pics of my friends and stuff, but we will have to see if the internet works and the cord works. Welcome to Africa, where one can not be completely sure that things work all the time. lol.

Sorry if this seems scrambled, but it is late and I am just now getting tired. It happens.

Love and miss you all

Friday, October 22, 2010

Trent vs. The Rule of Threes

So ever heard the rule that bad things happen in threes? I will tell you that it is totally true. Not only will you start to notice a pattern, but when you are like me and already live the life of an ironic comedy unfolding; you start to count and wait.

My first one happened on Weds, I arrive home and go to go into my kitchen and get a drink of water, but guess what... the door handle breaks. I mean it was already slightly broken, but now I'm holding the door handle in my hand away from the door. Now remember my kitchen is outside of the two buildings that I live in. It is like a small storage room, but I cook in it. Now, the problem. The door will not open. you see it is stuck on closed. It is not locked just without turning the handle there is no way in. It is a tight and secure room. I try many different objects to try to get the door open. I use a knife, the door handle put back in place, and the door handle to try and budge the sucker open, all to no avail. So I get pissed and go to my computer. I try to relax so I don't do something silly like just try to pull the door off. (Ok may I did try this, but it didn't work either.) I pulled and pulled. So I come back and hour later and try other methods like tying a cloth to the door and pulling. It was not cutting it. So my neighbors come over to help. I love them, but they had about as much luck as I did. We pulled, poked, and prodded, but nothing worked. So my neighbor says he knows a guy. now this guy comes with various screwdrivers, but nothing works; so he says he will be back. He returns with a hammer and a chisel. He proceeds to put the chisel in the door and hammer the hell out it and break the door spring completely off. he finally gets the door open and just takes the whole door handle mechanism out. I don't need it anyway, because I have a padlock for the door. He charged me a mill for it and finally after 5 hours I can get in my kitchen, however, I am to exhausted to cook so I just eat some canned ravioli.

Now I get up the next morning and go to my proviseur(principal) and ask him for my schedule. He proceeds to tell me that the schedule is hard and they don't have it done. So I tell him that I need to start teaching my Nov 1st or there is no use in me being here. He tells me next week for sure (I have heard this for 2 weeks now). so Hopefully I will be teaching by Nov 1st at the latest.

Now I go to my favorite restaurant and eat some cous cous and I start to leave for my house when I hear... rrriiippp! I stop abruptly! My pants have ripped more while I was biking in them. I love my bike, but it demands a pants sacrifice that I am just not willing to give. I have holes in both pairs of my jeans where the chain has decided to not wait for the sacrifice and just decides to start eating my pants while they are on me. Leaving a hole in my pants leg and me yelling, "This is why I cannot have nice things!"

So I am hoping I am done with my three, I hope! Unless the pants ripping is not grave enough. But I am still doing great in Burkina. I am loving my life here actually. I am missing less and less the technology and culture that I loved back home. I will say, that I do miss glee and for the first time since my hep; I have recently been craving some wine. Its ok I have like 2 1/2 months left of no alcohol. I think going 3 and half months without so much as craving is a good sign that I am not an alcoholic. lol. So I am still biding my time and relaxing for now, just doing a little work here and there that I need to get done with peace corps and simply talking to people. I need to study my french more, but again I find ways not to study it somehow. lol.

Also I watched American wrestling tonight in French in Burkina. Makes me laugh and think about life again.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Trent's dream world gets invaded... but at least he has pretty clothes.

So I went to the tailor and picked up my clothes from the tailor. He made all the shirts a little big, which is great because when I come back to the states and gain the lbs back I can still wear them... if I want to. Actually my one outfit is pants and a shirt both made from pagne material, that looks audacious and ridiculous, but I will wear it with pride. I was told it was very pretty by my neighbor. So that is good news.

Now a funny story for you to enjoy. Warning it is a little bit scandalous but I still below PG-13. SOOO I finally get to sleep last night after about an hour. In Africa, I have been dreaming hard. Now any of you that know me when I talk about my dreams, they are intense, full of color, sometimes emotional, and sometimes they tell my future (This comes from my mother and its true I dream the future alot, more when I was younger.) Now I am asleep and things are are fine and then my dream turns a little bit sexy, nothing bad just someone is like tickling my left chest area with a tassel. Well I wake up, and I still feel something... I focus on it, and realize that I have a spider that was crawling on my chest and was slowly crawling over my left nipple area. So basically molesting me while I slept, I semi freaked out and bit and swiped it off of me and hopefully killed it. I know that I am irresistible, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

Well I am going to visit my school again tomorrow and hopefully get my class schedule. I am going to make it a point to work on my french this week and work on hopefully not being sick. I am receiving a camera in the mail, hopefully. Now I am not assuring you that I will be updating pics often, but I am going to try to do something to show you a little bit of my life. Including my amazing clothing and my house, maybe including shots of my latrine!!! Aren't you guys in for a treat!

Miss everyone!!!
1 year and 11 months to go....


TO my bank girls: I miss you all. I know now is the season where things get really busy, but try to keep your heads together and just remember... there are tons of holidays ahead. oh yeah, and try to be nice to the new jackie girl. She is kinda ok. I may know her. heheh. Oh and make sure Jenn doesn't have to talk to too many customers at her new station. That would be bad. I feel it will end with shoes being thrown, just hopefully not of the designer kind.

To my families friends: HAVE A wonderful time at Halloween, I will not be wowing you with my dancing this year, but hopefully you guys can still have a killer party... minus anyone actually dying.

Jenn, Katie, Jade, Erin, and Johnny. I miss you all so freaking much. I can't wait to see you guys again. ASAP. Which may happen in June-july, if I can swing coming home. If so I expect you to be there at some point. I am making the half the world travel. lol. That and if you come visit me... well uhmm yeah. You may get malaria. lol.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Be Careful Taking Midnight Trains going Anywhere, you may end up in Africa.

So my faithful blog readers trent is a stupid head. I had to go to Ouaga on monday (oct 4) and get some blood drawn for some tests. (All of which returned back super OK). I arrived in Ouaga and had to end up staying the night at the Transit house, which is kinda like a Peace Corps frat house. I enjoy my time there, there is internet and good people dropping by. The transit house is also like a digital trading post. People bring their hard drives and their computers in hopes someone has some movies or tv shows they can steal. Which someone always does. I have now seen two new episodes of Glee and Modern Family. Both of which made my whole month. Now I go to leave on tuesday and what is it that I forget to pack in my bag? My USB Key and my Internet key. Both of which are now tucked away in my box at the transit house.

So right now I am writing this blog update on notepad and will update this to my blog when I have access to the internet again. Which could be a few weeks. I apologize. I am basically going to type up one huge blog entry and put dates on it so you all know when and what was going on. I apologize again for being a stupid head. Now.

This week I spent Monday and Tuesday in Ouaga and had fun with some wonderful people. I returned on tuesday and on weds morning I had a wonderful surprise. There was Sally!!! Sally is the lady who speaks mostly Moore and washes my laundry. I was so excited to see her. I needed laundry done really badly. I mean.. really badly. My pants were filthy. The only things that I wash are my underwear because supposedly some of the Burkinabe find that offensive. I can do that though. Although since my wieght loss has happened, I really need to buy more. The elastic kinda just rides up on me when I am riding my bike in a couple of pairs. Really very uncomfortable. Sorry TMI. Now she is there and not only does she clean my clothes, but no she asks for my shoes and sandals as well and proceeds to clean them. Now she asked me for 500 CFA to do this task and I gave her 800CFA which really is not enough. That is basically like 1.50 for her to wash my garments. Granted I supply the soap and water, but she is a miracle worker. I swear my clothes have never been so clean. Although I do miss the smell of fabric softener. On a funny side note, a guy returned back from America and literally we took turns smelling his clothes because they smelled like fabric softener. lol.

Now I was not able to go to school on this day, so I decided to work on my wall that I was painting. I finished the country of Burkina on my wall and let me tell you people, I was impressed. I then went to wash the pencil marks off of my wall and was not so impressed. The other color that my wall was basically washed right off. So I ended up just smearing the pencil marks. Then the colors brown and yellow that I bought, were both old and unusable, so I had to thrown those out. So what is a boy to do? I only have blue paint, which would look terrible on my dark green country. SO I write my other 22 stagiares names on the wall in terrible paint writing and literally throw paint at the wall with a paint brush. I am happy with it. It is not nearly the classical beauty I was hoping for, but it will do.

Now today is Friday Oct. 8.
Today I woke up and went to school to work in my lab and saw there was a meeting. I was glad that I noticed this and went about my day of eating at a restaurant and reading (Currently: Kissing Babies at the Piggly Wiggly, if your from a small town, definitly on a too read list. Alot of fun) then I went to my meeting. My meeting it turns out was to welcome all the teachers back and to go over everything for the year. I was glad that I saw the post on bulletin board. They brought me up three times. About me teaching informatique, how I was going to fix the cyber (which was news to me), and about how I was going to be a starting an Arts Club (because I told the Proviseur that day I was thinking about maybe doing he, he made the decision for me). I pretty much understood 60 percent of the meeting. Now it didn't help that I got bored during the meeting and zoned out during parts of it, but "Ca va allez." Afterwards I got up to leave and there was an after meeting welcome meal where I got half a chicken and felt like the protien god above sent that chicken just for me. It was delicious and fun to talk with some of the professeurs. Although there are 46 of them, so I don't know them all. It doesn't help they mostly all have very african names that are somewhat difficult for me to pronounce.

All and all, everything is going extremely well. I have to wait until next week to recieve my bed that I had commissioned and I also gave some fabric to a Tailor to have some clothes made. Needless to say, I am very excited and have alot to look forward too.

Saturday October 9th
My fallen Compatriots...

I have to also report sadly that I have had two of my fellow Secondary Education stagiares Medically Seperate from the Peace Corps. This is sad news and it is hard to hear. These are people who I spent 2-3 months training with, working with, and learning with. It is sad for me to say that they have departed. They both would have made wonderful Peace COrps volunteers.

So today was just an average burkinabe day. I went to school at 10 and worked until noon. I went to lunch at the restaurant where I eat everyday. I had a high point where my coke glass fell off the table, but the good news is that I caught it with my lap and glass didn't break. But the Burkinabe had a good chuckle at my coke filled lap. Too make matters a little worse, I went to the water company to pay my bill which was only 1,500CFA. I was happy to pay such a low amount, until I got there to pay the bill and it was 8,000CFA. I look at my receipt and it is because apparently no one had payed the water bill since June, so I was paying for june-sept. I was not the happiest camper when I received this news, but took it with a grain of salt. Ca va allez!

I went to the Marche today and met some people from France and had a semi conversation with them. This is only because I passed them 4 times in the marche and have seen them around town about 3 times. So I introduced myself and they seemed rather nice, but not interested in anything more than a hello. Which is fine with me, I can say that I made an effort. I also realized that I could not find the tailor that I gave my clothe too. I am supposed to pick it up in the next week, so I am going to have the effort of trying to find this one tailor in the marche. Think of the Marche like a big flea market. That will help you understand why I am having problems finding him. I will find him eventually.

I did find someone today to buy meat from. Now I claimed that I would be buying meat in Burkina Faso and I would still be eating it. I am not scared of a little mess, I am literally going to be eating my words tonight. I mean, I bought meat and literally it was crawling with flies, it was red, and they had it seperated out in little piles. Not to mention there was a just a huge slab of watever you were buying sitting on the table. Now I am trying to be bien integre, but it was a little off color for me still. I bought the beef instead of the mutton and I am going to try to create tacos tonight I think. There is a recipe for tortillas in the book and I figure if I cook the meet in slices and use seasoning, what the hell. It could be delicious... or disastrous. Will update...

IT was delicious. Well mostly. Now I won't lie, I almost lost all hope and was going to give up, because as I am tearing the meat off of the bone, I am noticing a part on the meat that was blueish-green, that my neighbor assured me was ok, and also while I was breaking it apart what do I get, but a handful of blood from the cow. Now granted, I know cows have blood, but I was not expecting to get a nice big covering of it in my hand when I broke a little of the bone apart, but Ca la vie. Now I cooked the beef with onions and made homemade tortillas, that actually turned out to be about pita bread texture instead of tortillas, but all in all, I was very happy with the meal. The seasoning I think is what made the meal though. So basically, I realized that I can do not have to be a vegetarian chef in Burkina Faso, now Trent's Cooking with meat!

Sunday oct. 17

WHAT A WEEKEND!!! So Friday night I had some of my neighbors Mike and Emma P. come in to town to see me. I made tuna pasta with the last of my cheese sauce from Americaland. :( But it was well worth it to see thier faces light up in delight. We watched Eclipse on my labtop and went to sleep. The next day I had Kait and David come up and see me. Both of them have completed thier Peace Corps service and are working in Burkina. Kait is only working until November for site development with the Peace Corps and David is working at the Embassy in some important job. Something to think about. It was cool hanging out with volunteers and sharing stories with people who are done with service, a year into service, and me being the newbie. We at first thought we would go to the pool in Kaya, and then we looked at the pool and the water was green. Now I did not have a problem with this until someone brought up shisto and then I was out. lol. So we went and ate at my favorite restaurant, went to the marche, then hung out at a bar. I couldn't drink but it was fun passing stories around. That and Mike paid one of the shoe shining boys to wash his feet, which was hilarious. After this we came back my place and we cooked some pasta with tomato sauce, which was great. We watched movies, they drank wine, and we smoked some hookah. Minty fresh.

*hookah is flavored tobacco not drugs it doesn't contain the chemicals that smoke does and you don't get addicted to it. Don't worry I'm not becoming a smoker, just fun on occasion... aka every 4 months or so. Research on the internet if you are interested.

This morning everyone left, but not before lovely Kait gave me back my internet key. I was super stoked. That and I got to trade movies and music with people which is always fun. Its like a digital trading post.
Well I am tired and am going to enjoy some internet time. I hope this will please you all and I will post more later. BYE!!!

Loves and kisses.