Thursday, January 14, 2010
Life isn't fair, sorry to the other PCV's who don't have electricity.
Well today is an interesting turn of events. My neighbor purchased a USB Modem (that is a device that connects to the internet and uses the same technology of a cell phone to connect any computer to the internet). So now I am one of the more spoiled volunteers in Burkina. I am currently sitting on my duff in my bedroom, on my bed no less, writing to all of you (or any of you who actually read this thing, even though I never post anything worthwhile). But to my amazement I now am able to connect with others. Though the bandwidth only really allows me to connect to e-mail or to this blog. I'm sure that it will still be an item that helps me keep my sanity.
For what you've missed thus far. I recently was in the capital as many of you are aware because of my constantly being on Facebook for 2 weeks. But alas my training finished and I am back in the south, which is nice because of the little temperature drop and the ability to actually breath once in a while. The dust in the north is almost insufferable and the "harmatan winds" are difficult to deal with.
I was in the capital for training. After being at site for a while there are always more questions that volunteers have, and that need to be addressed. All of the information presented was good, and I was able to get some of my own questions answered. But I soon realized that everyone in the Peace Corps has a unique experience. It is hard to think that all of our sites are that much different but it's true.
My site is in the south of the country, in a country that is about the size of Colorado. So you wouldn't think that much would change. Well actually it does; the climate, the culture, the language. It's rather bizarre. It's greener here than in the north by quite a bit, we also have hills. But that isn't the big difference. The big difference is the culture that is here in comparison to the north especially around Ouagadougou.
Here in the south we have many different ethnic groups but one main one in particular, they are called the Lobi. The Lobi speak Lobiri, and are in general, not very nice. Here in "Lobi country" every family is considered in and of itself a separate entity and they take care of themselves. They do not consolidate, and do not really have a figure head (though this is not true, they have a chief of sorts to govern disputes of land and such, but nothing else). So respect here is not inherent, it is earned, and everyone here is rather equal (well the men are). This is both a positive and a negative.
So dealing with students at the school and the people around the town is different than the other volunteers making some of the training utterly useless to me. So much of the time was spent wondering how people are dealing when in fact, they have much different situations and in so being our training worked for them and not me.
Ok that is enough for now. Enjoy.