Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Trent is back in Kaya; and is ready for peace!!!

Ok, so I apologize profously for my lack of blogs. There are just alot of things going on that I was not allowed to talk about. But now, Trent spills the beans. Well for the most part. Ok so rewind two weeks ago. Two weeks ago, no one knows what is going on. There are people burning stuff (a certian group of people that I am not allowed to name) and breaking into places in Ouaga. So I am sitting peacefully in my home writing a blog entry to post when I hear fireworks outside. I go outside and look, but don't see any. Then I listen again and realize its gunfire. They (again, a certain group of people who I am not allowed to name) were shooting into the air in Kaya. For what reason, to show support for the group in Ouaga. So I call my site mate and make sure that she is hearing it as well. She says that she does and while I am on the phone with her, my stupid neighbor comes outside and starts shooting right outside my courtyard. So I hurry into my house. He quits and I hear him laughing. He is an idiot. He decides to shoot off another much bigger gun at about 1 in the morning. Right outside of my house in the courtyard. So needless to say, I did not get much sleep that night.

The next morning I am supposed to go to a village near me so that I can get out of Kaya. So I ride my bike with my site mate to the village only to be told to continue on to another site. They wanted us to keep riding my bike in 120 degree temps for about 30 miles. Needless to say, we said no and searched for a car to take us. I tried a taxi but he kept changing the price and I finally yelled and called him a faux type. So we wait and see a car that happens to be going to the site that I am supposed to be going to. Well it turns out that one of the guys in the car is the prince of that site and is going to be the new chief soon. So he buys us drinks along the way and talks with us. He was really nice. So we finally get to the site and relax. We wait until a couple more people arrive and we sit down to eat. We recieve a call that tells us that we need to continue traveling again tomorrow. So basically, in two days, I traveled across the country of Burkina on bike, in car, and finally by bus and bush taxi. We were on official consolidation. So while on consolidation in a site that I cannot name, many people took safaris because there are some there. I did not. For many reasons, one is that I do not like the zoo. All that a safari seems like to me is a moving zoo in heat and humidity. Second, literally animals can attack you. There are no gates or anything and elephants charge you and even the lucky groups that got to see the lion, doesn't mean they could not be mauled by them. I think we know my luck. I would come back having been scratched by a lion or worse our car flipped by an angry elephant.
So I just decided to stay at the hotel and play cards and watch movies.

We did have an easter celebration, but it was Burkinabe. In Burkina, easter is celebrated by going out and eating food, then drinking and dancing at a bar. I really think that this is something that I could bring back to the states. We played some American music and danced at a local bar with the people. It was alot of fun. We also ate Macaroni and cheese (vache qui ri not real cheese) and ate pork and chicken.

One of the wierdest things about being on consolidation was that we were in Gourmache speaking area. This is difficult because I am in a Moore speaking area. So if the people did not speak French, we had a problem. There were children who hung out at the hotel everyday and we started calling them Ewoks. We called them that, because we had not clue what they were saying, they were kinda squeaking when they talked, they all carried around sticks and would point them at as as they would speak, they would gather mangoes from the trees and give them to us, and they were just kinda funny to watch. That was one of the biggest entertainments for me on consolidation.

So the day after easter, everyone can go back to site... ok not everyone. All the major cities can't. So I decide to go and stay with Becky and Tim in Boulsa. They are somewhat near me and they have electricity. It was alot of fun staying with them. They cooked good meals including chicken pot pies and soups. They have an oven that they are gifting to me when they leave. I am very excited. I got to play with thier dog, surreal. She is funny and also very needy. She acts like an american dog. I went to work with Tim two days and got to see his computer lab and what he is doing at school. It gave me some ideas. Also Tim reformatted my computer now so that it works faster. He got rid of Vista and just put XP on it. My computer works so much faster. I also got to watch alot of newer shows that I haven't been able to catch up on. I haven't seen Glee since regionals, its kinda killing me.
During all of this, I also had some time to do some deep thinking. I, among others, were thinking of going home. I haven't been able to do much work and morale has really taken a hit in the country. I have decided to stay and now that I am back at site, I am actually much happier than I thought I would be. I was really exhausted and wanted to leave, but now I am a little less. I still think that I am going to have to a take a tiny vacation even before I come home, but I am back to wanting to stay again. I had about a week or two where that was not the situation. There have been alot of stressors here and I definitely have been pushed farther than I ever thought that I would, but here I am. I am surviving. I am living and with everything that happens to me, is just another story that I can share later in life.

So good news!!! I come home in 10 weeks. That is only 70 days away!!! I will officially been in this country 11 months on the 9th. Too bad my official one year as a volunteer isn't until August. I am now back in Kaya which means that internet is officially my friend and available everyday. Now I have a homework assignment for you!!!!


Write a 1 paragraph email about what has been going on in your life and email it to trentonmtaylor@gmail.com.
I bleed my stories for you, you can at least drop me a line and tell me about your Americaland stories.

Also if you are in a Newcoming stage in May/June. BONNE CHANCE!!!! I can't wait to meet you!!! I am not working your stage, but I am sure that I will be at your swear in and you will hear stories about me. lol. Don't worry, we are fixing the country and getting it ready for you.



  1. hi,
    I would like to know the specific proceses whereby the Peace Corps keeps you safe during times of civil unrest. You describe a journey across the country for "consolidation" to , I asssume, a safer site, but even that journey appears dangerous: traveling sometimes alone in isolated areas as Westerners in various forms of travel/bicycles/vehicles, not really knowing in the beginning what you were supposed to do. How safe are you when you are in your village? is the isolation itself and being a rare Westerner itself inherently somewhat dangerous in unpreditable times? I am asking because I have a relative who may be posted to B.K.

  2. One of the first things that stuck out to me was the fact that you used westerners. I would like you to know that Burkinabe love Americans. They love Barack Obama and there are very very few people here who have any bad thoughts about americans. I live in a city and I feel safe 99 percent of the time. My biggest issue is at night; because flat out you can't see some people here. In times of civil unrest; I have always felt safe. You are rarely alone and you are in constant contact with the peace corps. Everyone has to have a phone with a connection and keep it charged. I cant go into to much detail for security reasons; but know that even in times of civil unrest the best place to be is in village. Most of the volunteers here are in villages adn really would have no idea that stuff was hapening if the office didnt keep us so well updated. Our country is lucky because we have not only great security officers and awesome medical staff; but we have a Country Director whose first priority is to keep us safe and happy and working. Many countries are not this lucky. For the most part also, there are very few problems in Burkina. There just happened to be stuff here because of the Egypt; Tunisia; and Cote'Diviore blow ups. Know for the most part the only thing you are going to be worried about for your relative is constant diahrrea. lol. Also as far as Isolation goes; most volunteers are within one hour of another volunteer and there is always the Peer Support and Diversity Network here with volunteers trained to help people with thier problems. Once your relative gets used to the customs; food; and general culture changes. They should be fine. Also this has been the first civil unrest in 23 years; so generally not a normal occurence. Things seem to be getting back to normal here and they should have a safe; very hot, and happy service. Feel free to email me with any other questions or they can contact me with any. trentonmtaylor@gmail.com