Saturday, November 29, 2008

Like the old saying goes…

When in Burkina do as the Burkinabe do….

I have officially tried the dishes to end All dishes. It is a local cuisine that everyone here eats for every meal! It’s called Tot (pronounced like Toe). It can either be made of corn meal or millet. One prepares this dish with water, oil, and either corn flour or millet. You add all the ingredients into a big pot, small portions at a time. The flour forms a mushy consistency like pashed potatoes, (but do not be fooled it does not taste like them!) After the flour is ready, you dump it out into a giant serving bowl; it is served with different types of sauces. The sauce I was given was called gumbo. You take your right hand a get a big ball of the Tot and dip it into the sauce and put it into your mouth. So Tot looks like mashed potatoes and gravy but it taste like a bill ball of nothing. There is no flavour to this dish, and no nutritional value. I tried my hardest to eat as much as I could, but I did not even make a dent into it. My host mother laughed as she watched me act like I liked the dish. I did bring this upon myself because I had not had Tot yet, and I really wanted to, so I asked and I did receive.

Thanksgiving went well, the American Embassy donated a Butterball Turkey and pumpkin pies. Everyone chipped in money for sides dishes and we had sooo much food for everyone!!! It was such a good time, it was kinda hard being away from the family, but everyone here made it all ok.

I have 16 days left with my host family and less than a month until I am living on my own in Nakaba!

I wish everyone a happy holiday season!!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

There is no Snow, but it is definitatly cold outside......

Yes, i said it, it is cold outside at not forsure of the real tempature, but i have to layer on the clothes....

Things are going very well for me, i am getting used to not hearing english everday, the metric system, and the food..

The past month has flown by and now the holiday season is upon us! Im sad to be missing the holidays with my family, but Im glad i dont have to christmas shop, or send cards or stand in line to return things.... I plan to decorate some kind of tree.......

Oct. 30-Nov 9 was SAIO

Sallon International de L'Artisanat de Ouagadougou

It happens every oct. in the even number of years. it is the largest craft fair in the continent of Africa. there are on average 100,000 visitors a year. it is to promote africn crafts as a cultural expression.

it is a very large craft fair with lots of stuff from all around the Africa(mostly Benin,Togo, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Mali,... and a few random other countries) Anything can be found here, and some things are expensive, but you can bargain anything.. in true fashion i bought a purse!!!!

For mor information go to www.SIAO.BF

latley we have been doing some hands on actvities such as making pourage, doing an AIDS survey at the local school, going to the CREN(a hospital for very malnurished babies and mothers) and baby weighing!!!!

Upcoming events:

Thanksgiving Burkina style

Worls AIDS days(DEC.1)


learning how to make a mud stove!

Mail I Have Received:


Aunt Susie

Parents letter 3 and 4

Aaron! :)

Thanks again for the comments they definatly make my day!

I also added some new photos!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The winner is

For the next 24 months of my life i will be living in Nakaba!!! its abut 140k away from the Capital (Waga), but i am only 5k away from the main road, so i wont have to bike far. it is in the east, in the district of Koupela. I will be living in my own house that my head nurse built especially for me. the house is on the CSPC compounds. I am a first generation volunteer to my site, which means no other volunteer of any kind have been here, and I am one of the first health volunteers in my district. I have another health volunteer in Koupela (about 35k away) and a SED (small enterprise development) volunteer in Fada.

I have been n Burkina for a month now and things are going well right now each day we learn more and more and i can finally see all the pieces coming together. the other day we learned how to make 3 different types of enriched pourage. we also went to visit the CREN. it is a unit inside of the hospital where women and their babies can go if they are severely malnourished. they get treatment for mother and chld, and the mother gets classes on nutrition.

overall I am alive and happy with my site placement!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

3 weeks down......

I live in a village called Sissamba. It’s about 10k away from the big city of Ouahigouya. I have to ride my bike into the city about 3 times a week. I have French, job training and culture class all day everyday.

I have been here for 3 weeks and time is passing pretty fast. I live my host family; I have a million kids in my compound. I wake up everyday at 5am because its super nice out and because I have to go to bed when it gets dark at 6pm! I defiantly feel like an old person, eating at like 5pm and getting up super early. I go to this little catholic church on Sundays and the priest made me the reader, which I like because it gives me extra practice on reading French, but the actual mass is done in Moore (the local language) so I really don’t have any idea what is going on, I just follow the motions.

My demyst visit was to Badra, it is south west of the capital, and about 45 mins away from Bobo. I stayed with another volunteer named Lori. We spent all day on Wednesday traveling. Badra is about 7 hours away from Ouahigouya. Wednesday started at 5am on a hot and sweaty bus seats for 66 people but really about 80 people were on this bus. Lori lives in a really nice place, her house is nice, and she has someone to watch over her, but they aren’t in her space. On Thursday we toured the CSPS and met all the COGES members at the market. The market is a great way to spread the word about upcoming events (which we did). We shopped for food and just lounged around. Friday was a very eventful day; we got up early to do a sensabilization on family planning. We told people why it is important to family plan and to use birth control and condoms and the benefits of having a small number of kids as opposed to a lot of kids really close together. Then we went to a school and my group did a skit on hygiene, and since it was Halloween we gave out pumpkin tattoos to the kids. On Saturday we traveled back to Ouahigouya. It was a much better time because we caught the bus that has air conditioning and it even played a movie! We have interviews soon that will determine were we will be staying for the next 2 years. This visit is to give us some insight on what we will be doing and how we will be living.

Upcoming events:
I am going to the Capital (Ouagadougou) for the Artisan Fair and tour of the Peace Corps Building

In two weeks I will get my site placement

Thanks to everyone who has been leaving comments they defiantly make me miss home, but make my time here way more enjoyable!!!!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Burkina Faso Health Care


Health care in Western Africa started in 1987 w/ the Bamako Initiative. it was developed by UNICEF and WHO @ a conference of African Ministers of Health to promote universal qccessibility to Primary Health Care. It was adopted in 1993 in Burkina. peace corps helth programs supports the efforts of the ministry of health and the Bamako Initiative. the primary goal is to help the community increase their knowledge and use of the health care.

each village has a CSPS.:Center of health and social promotion: it consists of a hospital, materninty ward, pharamacy. the head nurse:my boss: and mid wife live on the compounds. if a village doesnt have a CSPS then they are assigned to one with a CSPS. the head nurse will travel there once or twice a month.

women with babies that use the maternity ward get vaccanations for free, for them and the baby up to age 2.

others who use the hospital have to pay, but they get most of their visit subsidized by the government.

all medication cost

COGES is a group of people and the head nurse who decide what social problems there are in a village and how they can fix it. they go around and teach people on different things like family planning and malnutrition and try to get people to use the hospital.