Friday, September 2, 2011

Trent masters the existential crisis … and is also back in Burkina.

Who am I? Why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing with my life? Why do I ask so many questions? The existential crisis is not for everyone. When even thinking about having an existential crisis, you need to make sure you are ready to deal with it. You can’t ask the big questions and expect everything to stay the same. You have to realize you may ask the questions and find your life to be quite pathetic or lacking something. The opposite could also happen as well and you could find that not only are you living a happy and fulfilled life, but you are on the right track for your future. To those people, I would like to say, “Screw you.”

So I, again, am having to ask myself the big questions in life. What do I want to do after Peace Corps? Where do I want to go after Peace Corps? What should I do in my last year of Peace Corps? Who are my real friends in country and who do I just put up with because they are here. After my trip to America, these questions seemed even more blurry. I did realize that grad school is not in my future. I do not have the drive (or the cash) to make myself go through more years of school. I am young though and maybe in a few years I will decide that I can really choose something and stick with it. I won’t hold my breath.

So let me talk about what I have been doing since I have been back in country, because that is why you actually read this blog, not to here me blather on about existential crisis’s.

So first off I want to say that I had a wonderful time in Americaland. I got to eat tons of food, I gained 10lbs, I went to a family reunion, I helped move my brother in with his girlfriend, I helped one of my best friends move in with her boyfriend (who happens to be my brother also), I went to a water park, I got to spend time with my friends and family and see some people who had already left Burkina. It was great and it was much needed. I will say that I was ready to go back to Burkina, though. I have a year left and I have a lot of stuff to do in this year. I am at my halfway mark!!! Although, really, I am hoping to be mostly finished with the really important stuff by the end of May. I have another school year, a vacation to Ghana, and a visitor from America to look forward to. It is going to be great and I have already started. Let me just start from when I get back to Burkina.

I get back from Burkina at about 430pm and hail a taxi to take me to the transit house. I arrive and find out my neighbor in Barsalgo is at the Transit house and I get to say goodbye to him. So that was great. I also got to see a couple of other volunteers who I really liked and was able to say goodbye to them. It is weird to think that in another 2 weeks, I will have been in country longer than anyone (minus crazy third years and even crazier fourth years). So that night, I went out to Verdoyant and ate great food with Evan, Leslie, Shannon, and Evan. It was Evan's last night in country and the first time that he had ever eaten at Verdoyant. We went back to the transit house and afterwards we had some goodbye drinks with Ouaga Rob, Duckworth, Shannon, and Evan. It was a good time.

So the next morning I get up and get my stuff ready and I go to Kaya. I take a bus back and get back at 3 and drop my stuff off at my house and go straight to the training location for Camp G2low.

Camp G2low is a Girls and Guys leading our world. It is a training camp in everything (Sexual Health, Nutrition, Drugs and Alcohol, Family Planning, Equality for Women). It covers lots of subjects in 1 week. The first week in our camp is a boy’s week and the second week is a girl’s week. There is another camp happening in the southwest of the country that covers the same information.

So I arrive and training is already going on and everyone is getting their stuff prepared. The training went pretty well, but the highlight was the session with Shannon (Country Director) and Alexis (Bureau worker) who gave a session on sexual violence. It covers the spectrum of what sexual violence is and describes what violence feels like.

It is a great session. I have seen Shannon do the session 3 times and each time something new is brought up, especially with working with host Country nationals. After two days of training is time to get ready for the campers to arrive. They arrived on Sunday morning/afternoon and we had a grand welcome ceremony for them. Madame Governour, the APE, my Provisieur, and many others were in attendance. It was a great ceremony with music, speeches, and cokes. I took tons of pictures (yes, I have camera number 3 and yes it is already broken, but I will get into that later.)

I am not going to go deeply into the two weeks of camp. The wrap up of the camp was that we trained over 50 boys and over 50 girls on tons of subjects that they would have never been able to receive information on before. The kids were really excited and were excited to be learning about all the subjects. Most of the kids here had no idea how their sexual organs actually worked or even knew what puberty was. The camp was amazing with guest speakers and was very inspirational. I feel like when I leave this country, I know that I have touched the lives of these kids and made their lives better… but I will not be doing the camp next year.

I am not going into why I am not going to do the camp if it happens next year, if you absolutely have to know. Send me an email. I believe if you don’t have anything nice to say… come talk to me. Just kidding! I just don’t want to broadcast my feelings about it on the internet.

So after the camp I go to MSC. I was so happy to see my friends in Secondary Education. It was great to see what everyone was up to and how people were doing. We, unfortunately, had to sit through a bunch of boring sessions, but that was only one days worth. We had a feedback session about how things were going and Secondary Education felt that things were mostly positive. We had an IT only meeting on the morning of Ramadan and it was amazing how many ideas and things that we came up with. We are all going to try to get our program sharing down to a system and exchanged some software that will make all of our lives easier. I am hoping to try some out this year.

I had some medical sessions and went and saw the dentist. It was a better dentist than I have ever been to in the states. I got my teeth cleaned with this hook thing that shot water and then right before they were done they gave my teeth a salt scrub thing. It was wicked weird. I got x-rays afterwards with the dentist and I have no cavities. Yay for me.

I got up for the physical exam the morning after the dentist and everything went well there. It turns out I have low blood pressure though. He asked me if I was feeling dizzy or anything and I told him I wasn’t. My blood pressure was 100/50. I don’t really know how good or bad that is, but he seemed to think it was fine. It must be my wonderful diet and exercise… yeah.

So right now I am back at site and am writing this lovely article from the comfort of my own bed. But I am going to wrap it up, because I have a laundry lady coming at 7 in the morning to do my laundry. “le sigh”

Tomorrow’s mission is to clean house, update blog post, and buy meat for dinner. I think I should be able to get all this done easily. We shall see.

Thanks if you’re still reading, you’re the best.

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