Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trent plays softball, visits a village; and has ameoba friends!!

So I am having problems with my stomach when I eat, so I get brought into Ouagadougou so we can see what is going on. When I come in, I get blood drawn, poop in a cup, and get a sonogram. That's right, I get the goo on my stomach and have them move around and look at my organs, for the second time in nine months. Its like I'm having a baby, only babies of disease. Well it turns out that I have an amoeba. This amoeba decides to eat my stomach. So when i eat, it eats my stomach, or something of the sort. So I am now given medicine to kill the amoeba farm. I should be back to normal in about ten days. So excited. To be able to drink or eat without feeling like I am being stabbed. The little things that you look forward to in Burkina Faso...

I come back to site on tuesday night (aka 6pm) and I go to a restaurant and meet some of my favorites *Hailley, Grace, and Emma* and do not return to my house. I go to Grace's house and stay the night and watch the new Glee's and introduce them to Queer as folk, to which they are now addicted. We will probably watch them later. I stayed because the next day we took a trip to Nemtenga...

Nemtenga is a little village in BFBF (Think BFE but instead of the Egypt replace Burkina Faso). There was a grand fete there where I saw traditional masks and traditional dances and helped Mike from friends of Burkina. I played the game sharks and minnows from when I was in Gym class back in Elementary School. Having one shark attack the minnows, then they become sharks, until everyone gets tagged or you get down to about 10. I was playing with over fifty students and it was a little intimidating. I'm explaining the rules and telling them not to cheat in French it was alot of fun.

So also they brought out thier tribal masks to greet us. They look like big cousin IT's with faces. The masks are spirits and they have different personalities and they really are cool to watch dance. You can't touch the masks, but they will bow and touch your hand if you hold it up... and your white. lol. They speak, but its like a series of bird chirps and it is kinda creepy. one of the masks had a stick and it was swinging it at people and hitting them. So the children ran from it. It was really cool

Also I got to see a weaving guild and a ladies group get together and dance. When the ladies dance its a circle of women and usually one lady is singing loud and the others sing a following chorus. It is so cool because two women go out and they spin and then they booty bump each other and then another women enters as another one leaves and they just keep going. The ladies here carry babies on thier back in a pagne and I was about to die when one of the ladies went out spun and booty bumped with a baby on her back. The baby was like, I don't like this ride. lol. It was really fun and I got to see the women create some cloth that was really pretty!

They also had a big ceremony where they thanked us for coming and they gave us gifts. I recieved a hat that farmers wear, I think my grandpa taylor may have just recieved an African Hat he can work in. lol. Its a cone hat with a couple of African designed things on it. It is pretty cool and traditional, but I will never wear it. Most likely.

After the way therey we had to go back. I must mention that the trip to nemtenga was off road and at night took about 40 mins on the off road part. I don't get car sick, but by the end of the off roading expedition I was glad that we were on paved road again. I don't know how the drivers even found the place, it was like, take a left at that one rock... lol.

The next morning was the all important community meeting in Kaya. In order for us to recieve any funding for a project we need a 25% community contribution. So in order for us to recieve this, we were going to need the lodging in Kaya to be paid for. We didn't know where we were going to stay or what is going to happen. So we go to the meeting with some of the most important people in Kaya and good news, we recieved the lodging. So that is a relief off of Emma's mind and we can start getting our funding from SPA grants and also money from friends of Peace Corps people. More to come on that later...

So we are at Friday morning, this is the the day where I am able to start eating full meals almost without dieing. The pain has subsided and I am in Ouagadougou. It turns out that our softball game isn't until Friday, which works out great, because I need to meet with the owner of Pandora about the COS party. (Close of Service). The COS Party is for volunteers who are leaving Burkina and going back to America, because they are finishing their service. However, every volunteer in the country is invited. I volunteered to get the event organized, because I'm a glutton for punishment. I decided to have the party at Pandora, a bowling alley in Burkina Faso. I know a bowling alley, tres classy! So I needed to get the venue for the night. The starting price for the venue was 375000 CFA or 700 and some dollars. I talked it down to 225,000. or 475 dollars. Thats right, I haggle. I did agree to buy drinks from them, which is going to be a little more expensive, but I was just happy to have the place. And all I need is 7 more people to come outside of the people who are leaving the country to come and I have the venue paid off. That is amazing. It is a Viva ouaga Vegas Party and there is going to be bowling, dancing, music, drinking, Slot machines, pool, and some other games. Talk about an amazing time. If only I had a musical chairs with a twist game. Jk Mom, don't actually make and send one.


So saturday morning came around and it was time for me to play. Our first game we were using to try to see how we played together and was not that competetive, but everyone was surprised when I was telling people where to play and batting orders and base coaching. They were surprised that I even knew the rules. I never realized I grew up in a sports family until I came here and realized that just by knowing the rules to sports, I was ahead of the curve of even some of the guys. lol.

The first game we lost, but only by a few points. It was a good game, we just had a bad first inning. This followed us as a trait... we had a bad first inning in all three of our games that most of the time cost us the game. That and our spirits broke a little bit in the third game. But we were upset that we lost the second game because we were up against JICA. Now I know you have no clue what JICA is, but think of Peace Corps, but the Japanese version. So literally we got beat in Baseball by our Japanese counterparts. Although we technically go beat by some Nigerians and some americans as well. I liked what Dan Rooney said, you know we developed a country we they can beat us at our own sports. lol.

So I know it wouldn't be a blog entry without me having some injury, so we are playing in the third game and I am the catcher. I let a girl who was much faster and better than me take that position. I liked being the catcher. Surprise surprise... I am on home base covering it and the ball is right behind the third baseman and a guy rounds second and goes to third and rounds third. He should have stayed. The ball was right behind him. So I jump on the plate and get it thrown to me by the short stop. The ball hits my mit and he threw it really freaking hard so it comes up and hits my other hand and bounces out. I grab the ball and throw it to the pitcher before anyone else runs. I look down and my middle finger is swollen up twice the size it should be. I'm like, well shit. So I just decide to finish the inning, which didn't last long and luckily that was all I needed to finish. It turns out that blood had just made it swell or something, but I was bruised all down my finger and it was blue for about a day and half. I two other bruises on my arm and shoulder where I dove for a ball in the outfield. I stopped the balls, but didn't catch them. lol. When it comes to sports, I am glad that I only play them for fun and am not competive. Lets leave that for the Bingo, poker, and board games.

Needless to say we lost the tournament, but we came in 5th out of 6th. Who cares if everyone on the team that lost overall was probably under the age of 16... I don't.

So one of the weirdest things though about the tournament was that it was the International School of Ouagadougou, where they teach in English. The whole time that I was there, almost everyone was speaking English. The kids spoke English and had American mannerisms. I bought 4 snowcones to help the school prom at one concession stand. I had pizza at anothe concession stand. Then I bought sprites to help the Arts club go to Paris. It was like I was at a high school function. The most awkward thing was that, everyone was ignoring me. They acted like I was not important and didn't yell at me and didn't stare. I didn't realize how used to that I was until it wasn't happening. I'm used to being observed doing everything like I'm a celebrity, so it was kinda awkward going back. I think I am going to be one of those people, WHY AREN'T You Staring AT ME!!!.

Finally, last paragraph, I swear. I went to Chez Simone with a bunch of people including two volunteers who live in Benin. They were on vacation and on thier way back. Thier names were Eric and Elise and they were awesome. It was fun talking to them and just hanging out with everyone. I also got to get some good stuff in Ouaga, including new Modern Family, Glee, and Black Swan. If you get the chance to watch Black Swan, its a really cool film. If you like to see ballerinas going crazy. Oooh and Burlesque, but that is if you like musical films with Cher and Christina. Which I think we all know.. I do.

Love you all. and there are photos of me apparently on facebook playing softball.

One last p.s. I just found out that I am going to be getting a visitor in Dec-Jan time. One of my adventourous friends. More to come later.

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