Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Trents blog Spectacular: A months worth of blogs in one!!!

Trent is shocked... but not appalled.

Ok so I am back in Kaya and I am a little bit sick. I just have a head cold that I believe that I received after sleeping on the porch of the transit house under a fan. It was a little cold and I think I got sick... Ok now I should justify by saying I think a little cold was maybe..70? We are getting into the cool season though. It may actually start to be around that weather, which means I may have to actually use some of the those long sleeves that I packed. I know this sounds ridiculous to you in america right now getting into 40's, but I have acclimated to 90-110 degree weather. This is different. When I come back to america, I have already heard of people wearing coats in july weather, because they were literally so cold in 70 degree weather and because the stores had on AC. Which will kill me. My ladies at the bank can vouge for me being cold all the time at the bank and actually even wearing a jacket a few days. So Yeah!

Now one thing that I think that has changed over here is my emotional spectrum. Now I have almost been a little on the dramatic end of things when it comes to happiness and being jolly. I think everyone can vouge for this. Now one thing that does not come easy for me is empathy and sympathy. I feel bad for people, but never really really bad. Since I have been in Burkina Faso, this has changed. I think my emotions are more raw. I have taken them out of the box of control and have just kinda let them roam free. I watched the third episode of Glee today and cried twice during the episode. I am not one to cry at things and maybe it is just because Glee is so amazing. Who knows, but I am hoping to keep a little of my emotional rawness back in the states.

So I am trying to get my internet to work again, but right now it is not working. Technology and I aren't really getting along right now. I just bought a new power outlet today and the house power outlet ate the metal rungs off of it. I was stupid and thought hey, Ill just pull it out... Yeah, I electricuted myself. What are you going to do though? It was funny, I went to shower in ouaga at two of my friends hotel room, and when I turned on the water the shower was facing me and sprayed me in the face. I of course jumped back and hit the sink and squealed a little and fixed the shower, but after; my friend told me. "Trent I would love to live your life for just one day... actually no. Nevermind, I don't want to." I just replied, "If you do live it, just know you are rarely bored." I have decided this is true. I actually relish my more bored moments. Which makes me appreciate Burkina Faso even more.

Well tomorrow I have a big day. I have alot of things to do and people to see, so I will hopefully be able to update this soon!

Love and Peace,

Oh where oh where has Trent's Internet gone?

Ok so I am without internet until at least monday. So I go to the zain store(they are kinda like a cingular in america) in Kaya and I ask the lady why the internet is not working. Now she tells me that she does not speak English and can't really help me, so takes me to the Alimentation(small store) across the street and has them help me. The funny thing is that we had this entire dialogue in French and she understood everything, so I was confused where the English came in. You can be talking to people in Kaya in French and they will tell you they don't understand english. Now I find this very bizarre and another fact that my french is not very good. Now the man at the alimentation is trying to tell me that I haven't bought time for my key, which I did; from his alimentation and he is holding the reciept. So we can't figure out the problem with corporate, so the man says just to take it to Ouaga and try to get it fixed. Now I am not going to Ouaga again until December. So this is not going to work. So he says that he is going to Ouaga on Friday and will see what is wrong with it. So I give him the key and I will get it back from him on monday.

Now what I just did is the equivalent of having an iphone in america and the guy at the cingular booth in the mall saying he will take it to the headquarters and come back with it... and he is around 24. Would you do this America? Hell no. He would thief that and the next time you would see that Iphone would be on Ebay as he was selling it. But here in Burkina Faso, this is not a big deal. I have seen him 4 or 5 times working at the Alimentation and I don't know his name, but he will still bring it back and tell me the problem. Just funny some little cultural differences.

oh yeah and I electrocuted myself again. Not as big as last time, but I went to plug something into my USB and I was touching both the metal and the item as I plugged it in and I shocked myself again. *rolls eyes*

Now one bit of good news is that I have received my class schedule today. YAY! I am starting next week and I am teaching 16 hours. I will be teaching 4 classes of 4. I am teaching 2nd. Which think of that like juniors... kinda. It is weird to have and education system where literally the teachers are trying to fail students. They literally don't want everyone to pass because if everyone passes, the next class level will have too many students. That is just not logistically possible. I mean the 6em classes have 110 students per a classroom. You can't have that in 3em. It is too hard. THat and I have 2nd. Which means I have 60 kids in a class. I have 27 computers. This is going to be a problem, but the proviseur is charging a mille for the class as well, so that will have help kick the kids out who just want to take the class for goofing off. I know that a mille seems a ridiculously low price, equaling out to about 2 dollars america, but her that can be alot of money, especially for an extra class. So the kids will have to be really wanting to take this class. Not a big problem, I will just kick them out if they goof up anyway. Yes, students here actually like to learn and canceling class is a punishment. Could you imagine that in America? My grade would have never had class.

Now I start teaching next week. Let me see what adventures I can have and what I can mess up now.

Love and misses,

Trent comes to some shocking realizations.

Yes I have been electrocuted again. I have not been electrocuted this many times in all my life, but I have at least determined the problem with this electrocution. I think my computer has too much power in it. I went to go take the headphones of of the socket and got electrocuted. I am talking, power up through my arm electrocuted. I had to get them out of the socket and eventually pulled them out by the cord, but it turns out it was not the fact that I was touching th headphone metal. No my laptop has a metal ring in it where you put the cords in and that is the item that I touched that gave me the shock. I figured this out when I went to go move my labtop and it shocked me again. Right now actually my labtop smells like it may be on fire, so I am going to unplug and shut the girl off for the night. Let her relax and cool down a bit. I have been working her kinda hard lately.

Love you all and hopefully the only thing electric I do tomorrow is the slide.

Trent Finally Teaches!

That is right. Today was my first day of teaching. I prepared my lesson and was ready to go. I had 3 lessons. I figured 45 min a piece and I would give the kids a 20 min break. That would equal 3 hours, easily. Actually I taught for 1 hour and fourty five min. The students chose for me to keep teaching and to not take the repose I had planned and to leave early. The kids picked up on my lessons much quicker than I expected them too. They didn't stop me and ask me to repeat anything and I made sure that I repeated important things twice and even had the kids draw stuff in thier books. I thought it was easily three hours. The lessons took me that long in Koudougou. Apparently with me speaking French much better and the kids already knowing a little bit about computers. It made the lesson fly by. I need to add some more interactivity into my classes, even though the kids at first would not interact that much with me. No updates on the internet key situation because the guy did not go to Ouaga, so it is going to be another week before I can use it. I may try to get a code and use the Cyber at my school on Weds. That and if I can actually get it to do what I want the computers to do.

I also got a call from one of my friends Emma P. who is apparently going to be putting on a camp this summer and wants to know if I will help... and host people. This is exciting and fun!

Just a kinda boring update,

Trent's first week of teaching...

My first week of teaching went well and was uneventful.

Trent recieves a guest visit!

I had miss Emma P. come and visit me and I love it when Emma comes and visits me. Not only is she fun, but she is a great conversationilist. We talk in english and it is fun. Especially since I have friends that are Burkinabe and I actually have to even speak french to them. She brought me all kinds of goodies including new music that I listen too like crazy and she also brought me new GLEE aka the ROcky Horror one and new modern families. I have been entertaining myself well.

One thing that we talked about is that I am going to go to Bobo on the first week of December. It is international Volunteer day or something, which is wierd because its the same week as World AIDs Day (Aka Johnny's Birthday). So I am going to have my classes work on thier typing and type information on VIH/SIDA. Then I am going to go down to Bobo and see most of the people from my stage and we are going to be doing volunteer projects all weekend. It should be fun and I get to see people from my stage a week early!

Trent Prepares fo Tabaski!

So tomorrow (tues Nov 16) is Tabaski. This is a Muslim holiday that goes with the moon. This is one problem with muslim holidays... when the hell are they? I was told last week, we think Tabaski is Tuesday, but we are still deciding. So basically every place decides which day is Tabaski, but pretty much everyone decided as of Sunday that Tabaski is Tues. Which means that school is canceled and I don't teach tomorrow. Basically teachers here are like bankers in America. LOL!! (Miss you banker ladies).

Trent deals with discipline... Burkinabe Style

So basically I am never going to be able to teach in the united states. I have decided that I would be one of those teachers that violated the human rights of the students and am being held without pay. I basically believe the best way to deal with students is to punish them through humilation. This actually works very well here in Africa and most teachers utilize this method. So far I had students break a computer so I had the students stand in the courtyard in a line for 10 min in silence in the sun. After that I kicked two kids out of class for not listening and also because they broke the computer they have to give me next friday the phrase "I will not act like a monkey in Mr. Taylor's class." (in french of course) 50 times. Another teacher said I should have given them 250. I am hoping to be able to fix the computer, but I don't quite know what is wrong with it yet.

Trent finds the internet!!!

Yes it has happened. I have found the internet and as God as my witness I will never go without it again. THe funny thing about that is that I could probably make an outfit here out of curtains, if I could only find some curtains. My life is not really that exciting right now. I am teaching and overcoming adversity in Burkina Faso. For this week, I am overcoming the adversity of not having electricity. That is correct I taught Monday and Tuesday of this week without electricity in my building. I am hoping to have it tomorrow, or I am not going to be able to do anything. Ca va allez. (life goes on.) I am going to Kombissiri on Saturday for Thanksgiving and am looking forward to seeing some people and eating since I will be working on thanksgiving. The next week I am going to Bobo to work with other volunteers in a big international volunteer thingy. I am going to be cleaning CSPS, which should be... well volunteery? I mean, I will at least be working with people from my stage.

Now, I know that there has been alot of talk about me being electrocuted, but I swear this will be the last entry. I was correct that my computer was recieving too much power, but it is only from one socket in my plug. If I use the other one, then I am ok. I went to grab my computer and it electrocuted me again. When I changed the socket, it no longer electrocuted me. So I solved the problem at my house, now to my lycee(school). Apparently two of my tables at the school are metal and one day I kept getting small shocks on my arms and just thought it was static electricity. Well today, when the power was not even running to my classroom, a student all the sudden jumps from the table. I am confused and ask him whats wrong and he said that the table shocked him. I am thinking that he is being silly and touch the table and nothing happens. I am trying to figure out how it could be shocking him and another student touches it and nothing happens. So then I look at my shoes and realize they have rubber in them and he is only wearing tapettes (flip flops) so I put my bare foot on the ground and touch the table and get shocked to hell!! So the other kid takes his flip flops off and touches the table and gets shocked. So they use another table and I am trying to figure out how this is happening. There is no electricity to the building, so how is the table electrocuting my students? After ten minutes another student forgets and touches the student, but does not get shocked. So I try out the table again and don't get shocked. So apparently I have an electricity ghost that likes to shock me and is now after my students. I will keep you updated if I get it exercised.

Also I am getting very tired of all the dust here. I am getting dust in every crevasse of my body and am using kleenexes like they are... uhm kleenexes, but still. I am hoping a decrease, but I actually think it will increase more, especially with all the green around me starting to die. Owell. I can still get bissap and that is the most important thing.


  1. Sorry to hear that you keep getting shocked. Otherwise, sounds like you are doing really well. I'm happy to hear that you finally get to teach. It had been a long wait. I enjoy reading your blogs. They are very interesting and
    I'm glad that you are enjoying yourself there and that you have met some new friends.
    Keep up the good work. I'm proud of you.
    Stay in good health and I pray that you have a great Thanksgiving.
    Much love,
    Aunt Marie

  2. i like this electricity ghost even better than the ghost you and katie lived with that one year