Saturday, June 18, 2011

Trent takes a mini vacation in Boulsa and goes to a teacher Party!

So in my last post I talked about how I was excited to go to Boulsa and see Becky and Tim. I now remember why I was so excited. They know how to treat a guest. I left for Boulsa on Monday and arrived at the gare (place where buses and stuff leave) at 7 so I can get a taxi brousse to Boulsa. It turns out that I have the same taxi brousse driver and he doesn't leave until 8:30. So I sit at a nearby restuarant and read a book and drink 2 cokes. I then start on my taxi brousse ride. It is about 3 hours long and is on a dirt road the entire route. The dirt road is ok in some places; but suck in other spots. We stop and pick people up on the road and in villages and drop people off. Luckily at one of the early stops on the road, the guy in the front seat left and I stole the front seat. No one complained; because I am a Nasara. It comes with good and bad; this is one of the good. While on the road; we stopped at Piboare and there is a police station on the road there. Well, of course; the few people see the nasara and decide that they need to document my ID. It is really just an excuse to talk to me. So I went and talked and made them happy. We continued along the road and I really took a minute to take everything in. I sometimes have to remind myself that this is not something that people see everyday. Stuff was looking prettier because it has been raining; so we actually had some greenery on the road and there were mini river looking things.

So I arrive in Boulsa and when I get to the house there is Becky and Tim waiting for me and they do the tres integre thing and give me a cold goblet of water. It had ice in it and was amazing. That was just the start. Each day Becky and Tim made wonderful food for me; we watched movies and television and bitched about Burkina. It is a very good release for all of us. Especially Tim who is glad to compare doing IT with another person. We had dinner with Becky and Tims adopted family one night and they are alot of fun. Mr. and Mrs. Simpoare. They were impressed by the little Moore that I know and were teaching me new phrases to use. They told me that I need to come visit at least one more time before I go home and I told them that I would. Hopefully I like the new replacement volunteer going to Boulsa. So after a few days of lounging around and having a rest from site; it was time to head back to Kaya. Which meant another 3.5 hour taxi brousse ride. My butt is always sore no matter where I sit. lol.

So I arrive back Thursday night and I am told by my homologue that tomorrow night is the end of the year party. This is the official party held by the school for the professers that says school is done. So the party starts at 18. I arrive at 18:15 and we finally go into the building to get things started at 19. I was surprised we even started then. So we had a feast and it was great. There were cokes, beer, 2 types of chicken, french fries, crudite, and rolls. It was delicious. I stuck to cokes, but then they busted out a bottle of champagne so I had a little bit and then the attendant poured me a small cup of whiskey. Well all during the feast there are people talking and doing thier speeches and I actually followed some of the speeches. One professer is a comedian and he did a little stand up thing; I could only follow about half of what he said; but that is pretty normal for this professer.

Then the dancing started...

So the music hear and the dancing here is really different. I cant really describe it really well. Americans dance mostly torso up and Africans dance hips down. Well the professers drag me out and alot of the male professers are dancing. Remember mostly guys dance here; unless its a women's dance. So I start dancing and following along. There was a guy video taping the stuff to show at next years begininning of school party and I am sure he got some good shots of me following along with the few students that were there. They were impressed that I could keep up and follow. I am doing a pretty good job of dancing African and controlling myself; then it happens. The guy said he is going to play a song for me and points to me. I was wondering which American song he was going to play. He plays... Cher ¨Do you believe in life after love¨. Needless to say; with the little bit of booze that I had and the dancing I had done; I danced to the song like a fool. It was alot of fun though. It was fun to see how much progress I had made from the welcome to school party to the end of school party. Who knows what will happen at the next party.

I leave for Ouaga on Monday and Sapone on tuesday. In the next 48 hours I have to do my camp glow lessons, my laundry, and clean my house. We will see if i can get these things accomplished. I have to be prepared because I am getting a group of new volunteers who are going to come to my site and live with me for 4 days. This is uber exciting and I can't wait to see the newbies.

24 days til I am on a plane. Cant wait!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Trent gets Malaria... or just a bacteria infection.

So last time I updated you that I had been well and that I was excited about the Regional Peace Corps Medical Officer visiting me. I had the visit on thursday and it was amazing. I was able to talk to her and just converse about things going on in country and in the my life in general. She was alot of fun. But as she was leaving, she made the comment that my latrine is a long way from my house. I told her that it has never really been a problem. She said that it would be a problem if I had diarhea, I told her that that would probably never be a problem.

So that night, I am laying in bed and I start to feel weird. I get this cough and I realize its my "Trents running a fever" cough. So I take some Ibuprofen and just lay in bed. Well an hour goes by and I am still running a fever and I have muscle soreness, chills that lasted over an hour and a headache. All of these signs point to one thing. Malaria.

Now Malaria over here is not like what people think that it is in the states. Yes, Malaria is terrible and it kills tons of people every year, but they aren't under a PCMO's care. As soon as I started showing signs and I admitted that I missed a prophalaxis pill or two. They had me start taking my anti-malaria pills. Really, its a box of pills you take and it makes the malaria go away and your cured. This is why, I don't think of it as such a big deal, because there is a very easy cure. We are not in the 1800's.

So the next day, I start taking the malaria pills, but then a new thing starts. Diarhea. I won't go into the details, but I have lost 2 pairs of underwear this weekend, because I was not handwashing them. I literally was dead sprinting to the latrine. It was crazy. I never believed other volunteers when they told me about this stuff, but it is true!!! I say that the Regional PCMO jinxed me.

So I do a mif kit and get it sent to Ouaga and it turns out that I have a crazy strong bacterial infection that apparently has been going around the country. I know at least three other volunteers that have had it. So they are going to give me medicine and they tell me to take Cipro (Aka, the general kill all bacteria drug). So I go down the hill from my house where they have recently opened a pharmacy across from the hospital (smart Burkinabe) and ask for Cipro. No real prescription needed here. They give me the pills and when I ask how much they tell me 600 CFA. For those of you who don't know the CFA system, that is about $1.20. I thought she was saying 6 mille, which seemed more appropriate. Nope, 600CFA. So I got my meds and started taking them. I took two last night and and woke up feeling %120 better. I am still not 100 percent, but will be a day or two. I haven't had to run to the latrine in over 18 hours, so I will take the small victories.

I also will be getting on a plane and coming back to America in 5 weeks!!! I am amazed that it has come so close. I can't wait to see everyone!!! I start to even get busy in the next two weeks, so I am hoping that time flies even faster. I have been dreaming about the people that I get to see and the things that I will get to do, but I won't lie, like other volunteers, I mostly just keep thinking about the food. NACHO CHEESE, RANCH DRESSING, TACO BELL, Just to name a few. I have a goal of gaining 10lbs when I am in the states. This should not be hard. I'll try to stay skinny the second time I come home. This time, I am on vacation.

Also, I have been updated by a friend of her dates when she is coming to visit. She is staying a little over two weeks. I told her that I don't think I could keep her entertained here for that long, so we are going to go ahead and go into Ghana as well. It will be so much fun and I can't wait for her to see Burkina. On june 9th, I will have officially been in Burkina Faso for 1 year. That is my longest time away from home ever. Its hard on me, I can't imagine what it is doing to you.

Waiting anxiously,