Let me recap on what happened in the past few days... we'll start on the 31st of December. Oh yeah, get ready for a really long blog entry. (sorry it's so late)
Left for Taré at around 8:15 to catch a bus to Léo to celebrate the upcoming new year with a few fellow PCVs: Hugo, Rhoda, Katie and Rob. There was supposed to be three to four more people, but they all went their seperate ways - either to Yako, Gawa or Bobo. Anyway - get to the Hotel Sissili (a really really fancy NEW hotel that tricks it's guests into thinking their in Americaland) and it is gorgeous! We go the cheapest rooms available: 21.500 CFA (two rooms, split five ways). We were lucky enough to have a younger woman working there at the time of check-in who sympathized with our situation and said she was just like us when she was our age & promptly pulled some strings and allowed three of us to one room. We all then took hot showers (lovely) and then laid out by the pool. Yes, pool. Everyone had drinks except me - instead I enjoyed an extra large bottle of ice cold Laafi water with ICE! Next came the food. Salads for me and katie and then Rob and hugo ordered, according to them: "real food" which would be spaghetti and some Senegalise dish. Rhoda refrained from stuffing her face, unfortunately. The salad was delicious - beyond delicious. so so so good. And the spaghetti, get this, had real cheese on it! Real. Gratted. Cheese. What? Yes, you heard me. Cheese isn't readily available in this country - and it was there. We took tons of pictures at the pool.
After that we decided we needed to rest: so we took naps, lounged and used the internet a wee bit before the festivities of the night began. I went out for a run and it was, by far, the most terrible run I have ever had. The wind was blowing against me, my throat hurt and I was running uphill. 3 miles should be 30 minutes, but I'm not sure how long this took me... it seems to last forever. After getting back I jumped in the shower and was greeted by a large glass of champagne when I got out... apparently when I went running the boys went for a drink run and bought us 4 bottles of champagne and 2 boxes of wine. Wonderful. The shower was great by the way... mhmmm.
Now, let the festivities begin! Somehow or another the first step is to obtain a faux-hawk. I soberly allowed Katie to fix my hair for the night, and that was the result. Got to skype with my Beak for a wee bit - sadly, the signal was too weak for video on both ends so we switched back and forth. The gang enjoyed talking with him too - he seemed thoroughly confused. Mohawk = Done. Dressed = Done. Make-up = Check. We wanted to order food from the hotel, the same two dishes the boys had during lunch... but, of course, the hotel wanted to break our hearts and told us the two dishes were "finis" (done for the day). So we gathered our troops and went out on the town to the cheap, but delicious (not to compare it with the spaghetti at the hotel, or my Dad's for that point) spaghetti and liver that Rob and I shared. I carried a bottle of bottle of champagne with us to dinner - we (four of us, Rhoda parted ways) shared the bottle and then went back to the hotel. There we had our own little "dance party" before heading out to the club which was, conveniently located on the same grounds as the hotel. We probably spend about 3 to 4 hours in our room listening to music, being British, cannibalizing our hands (Rob and I) and taking way too many pictures and a 30 minute video that I need to edit one day.
Off to the club: we danced to ridiculous Burkinabé music and the four of us shared a bottle of whiskey, classy huh? I got to talk with Adam some more when midnight struck and also Devon and my mom. Dev called me out on "drunk dialing" her - nonsense! but okay, I guess she was right. All in all... it was a pretty good night. Went to sleep with my New Years kiss from Katie (on the cheek, mind you) and I then the world was spinning beneath me.
Woke up the next day around 8:30 but didn't get up until 9:00. Realized all my things were in the other room and had to wake up Rob and Katie from their slumber. Took a shower and decided to lay by the pool until we needed to check-out. Had breakfast and some detox tea I brought with me... delicious? My neck was killing me - and I'm pretty sure I was a wee bit hung over (for the first time, ever) but only a little. Had another large bottle of Lafi (water) and continued to be British with Rob. Went inside around 11:30 to pick up the hotel room - it was a complete MESS and then packed up my bags to check out.
Downloaded Adam's new song that he sent me - so so so good! I now have the intro and the outro of their new CD (in-progress) and he tells me I can't hear anything else until it's 100% complete. Damn. I hope they finish the EP quickly. *for new readers* His band is "A Formal Affair" which is based in Austin, TX but formed in Wichita Falls, TX! Check 'em out.
Then I get online for a wee bit more before we leave so I can post a very brief update of our New Years in picture form on Facebook. Then Rob, Rhoda and I go out for lunch (after we checked out) and I have a salad while they scarf down salad and atcheki. The salad was really good, but I was having weird - do I want two plates of salad or do I not even want to finish one - feelings. I wouldn't say I was naseaus, but I definitely was bipolar about my desire to eat or not eat. I did, however, drink a butt load of water. The rest of the day we (Rob and Katie decided to grace me with their presence at my site) traveled from Léo to Taré and then off to my village - having to stop once on the dirt path for a potty break... ahhh, the glory of peeing in the open air - while you fear a snake will bit you or tick pick you as it's next host. Then we finished our bike ride to my village. We get settled and take turns going to the pump to get water. For dinner we had fideo in memory of Rob's first visit to my village a while ago. We had the regular ingrediants: vermacelli noodles, tomato paste, cumino, garlic powder, caldo de pollo (chicken bouillon) and then we added onions, tomatoes, cabbage and a nice taste of Americaland: a bag of ready to heat black beans in a mexican style sauce. Oh gosh - it was delicous! I wish I had two bowls, but there was barely enough for all three of us... but of course Rob was a mega fatty and had a bowl and a half! We had more Americaland by popping some Jiffy Pop... Thanks Mel! mmm. So good. I had forgotten how good and delicious simple popcorn is. Then we went off to bed. They slept inside and I slept in my tent outside. Thought I was gonna die from the cold, but actually was good. My neck ached - my nose was all kinds of stuffed up and my throat hurt - but I slept okay.
We wake up around 8:00 and start our day by eating overcooked rice with sugar, butter, nido and cinnamen and a dash of granola (thanks Mel), craisons, raisons and brown sugar (thanks Ma)! Then we take bucket baths, light my trash on fire, be locked in my house because the nem finally begin finishing my hanger (YAY) and walk around town. We eat at a place that sells rice, maccaroni and chicken (a BIG surprise to me). After that we sit around at my house and they figure out when they'd like to leave. They end up going around 14:00 and I finish the day by napping. My neck has been killing me since New Years and I figure I could use some rest. I sleep until 17:30 and decide to fix dinner even though I'm not that hungry. I fix fideo-esque type food. Used the last of the cabbage, one onion and make the fideo minus the garlic && it actually turned out wonderfully! I didn't expect to get fideo without garlic, but I did. They things you learn! Went to bed after writting a letter to Adam and reading the new book my mom sent me: "The Elephant Vanishes" stories by Haruki Murakami. Good so far.
Today I woke up early because I was uncomfortable but went to bed because I felt horrid. I've felt pretty under the weather all day - so I've stayed home, thoroughly washed my feet because my toe nail finally gave and fell off/I cut off what was already not attached. I also cleansed my feet because I got a cut on my foot on the way back through the bush to my village and it looked a little inflamed.... damn cuts on toes - always actin' up! Aside from that I haven't done much. Just finished writing/finishing letters to Adam, Melanie, Elyse and am about to write Ashley and my parents.
Discovered I can braid the front part of my hair!
That's really exciting.
Cleaning up a bit
Will go out & about in the village tomorrow!
Gotta finish my PACA
1 & 1/2 weeks left.