Monday, July 12, 2010

New Eyes

This is my entry that was written in my planner due to the fact that my journal wasn't with me when we were in route between Ouagadougou and Ouahigouya. My thoughts were a little scattered seeing as though this was my first time out of the city and on the road. My first time seeing a small fraction of Africa.

Bare with me - I was in and out of sleeping...

25 Juin 2010

We're driving through northern Burkina and I'm just amazed. Everything is a mix of green, brown and grey. The trees are both small and tall, green with leaves - but the trunks range from brown, to tan, to grey. Most are medium size - but there are some that soar into the sky with big fat trunks. The ground is either brown and very dry, or is turned up and planted - or completely green with bushes/shrubs and tall grass. It's beautiful. It's nothing I though I'd see here in Burkina Faso. It's flat - but beautiful. The sky is permanently grey - but always very sunny. You can barely make out the clouds - it's like there's a film between the dark blue sky we flew within to get here and the dusky land of Africa. I'm hoping to see the blue again one day.

There are goats and donkeys everywhere - I've only see a few clusters of cows & bulls here. I really want a goat - so cute!

The people seem to be VERY hard working - the main form of employment seems to be agriculturally related. There are never ending crops every which way you look. We pass these small "communes" or very small villages with mud huts, thatched roofs and a community wall surrounding and connecting the huts. It's beautiful, quaint and very surreal. It makes my heart glow - and my mind spin all at the same time. It makes me think these communities are so tightly run and close - the people are truly the other's neighbor in the very definition of the phrase - and holds true to it's meaning. I hope to be in a tight-knit community. I want the people to accept me and allow me to help them as they help me.

I've seen little kids on the side of the road carrying things to sell - them wandering out in the vast and open land that swallows this cement highway. I see them and my heart goes out to them. I want to go play with them - make them smile. Learn from them. I really am hoping to have a host family with a ton of kids. I'm looking forward to seeing their faces!

We've come upon our first hill!! YES! About an hour north of Ouaga, there are hills to the west of me... But only for a short time.

Everyone and everything is skinny here. I've seen men running for recreation - so maybe it's not just malnutrition? But it's a little weird - a donkey or cow is skinny and I feel sorry for it, but the people are in the same situation - and my empathy is for the animal? No. I need to feel sorry for both or none. It's just difficult for someone to put the two together because one can speak and act - while the other cannot.

Well - we just stopped in the middle of no-where and were told that's our bathroom break! Me and Althea went to go squat and "spot" each other. I was a little apprehensive at first - but did it anyway. While building our house in the Commons, we had to pop-a-squat out in the woods...yes, it's a little different when a bus unloads and everyone needs to find a bush in this very flat and open land...but I figured if I could do it back home, I can do it here too. It felt GREAT! a little awkward, but good relief - if you will.

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