Blogs from Ouagadougou, Centre, Burkina Faso, Africa


Africa » Burkina Faso » Centre » Ouagadougou April 27th 2013

This past Thursday, April 25th, was World Malaria Day. I decided to make it a weeklong event and see just how many village members I could get to start talking about ways to prevent malaria. Volunteers have been talking with their communities about the importance of sleeping under a bed net every night and healthy medical treatment seeking habits. For Burkina Faso, the rainy season starts in late May, with the “Mango Rains” starting in April. Now is prime time for volunteers to get their communities prepared to protect themselves against malaria. This past week, I focused on getting my students at the primary school and the secondary school to start talking with their families about malaria prevention. I did programs with over 180 fifth and sixth grade students and 60 secondary school students during the ... read more

Africa » Burkina Faso » Centre » Ouagadougou April 16th 2013

It's World Malaria Month! Do you know what that means? Volunteers throughout Africa are competing to do the most amount of trainings/projects/activities/anything you can think of in their villages to raise awareness of malaria and to promote prevention methods and early treatment seeking habits. In Burkina Faso, volunteers are painting murals at their local health clinics, incorporating malaria discussions into their teaching curriculum, or sitting in their markets fixing holes in nets. For me, I have a whole week planned of events. Next week, I will be working with the CM1 and CM2 (5th and 6th grade) students and talking with them about everything malaria-related. Starting off each session, we will be playing Bed Nets & Mosquitoes. You start off with two ends called the "bed nets." Two students stand in the middle and act as ... read more

Africa » Burkina Faso » Centre » Ouagadougou April 8th 2013

Since my last post four months ago, a lot has changed here in Burkina Faso. Here's a brief update: At the end of January, I visited another volunteer's site to celebrate Mouloud, a Muslim holiday. We ate so much rice and sauce, dance until our feet were sore, and laughed and talked with people in the village. It was an amazing time to see such lively culture where everyone was so full joy. The volunteer's village has a beautiful mosque taken care of by a family originally from that village, but now lives in Cote d'Ivoire. They put on a huge party for us with tons of food and music and entertainment, and it was really one of the best holidays I've celebrated in this country so far. In February, I was asked to attend a ... read more

Africa » Burkina Faso » Centre » Ouagadougou December 23rd 2012

We had In-Service Training the first two weeks of December and now my stage is off and running with great momentum! In-Service Training (IST) is a training program for each stage three months after swear-in and going to site. During those three months, we assess our sites by interviewing community members about general culture norms and basic needs of the community. I spent a lot of time at the hospital (CSPS) and the high school (lycee) and primary school. During IST, my counterpart (homologue) and I made our Plan d'Action for establishing a library at the lycee! And, with the help of family and friends of a previous volunteer, we will be working very closely with Friends of African Village Libraries (FAVL), an organization based in Ouaga that helps start libraries in rural villages. I could ... read more

Africa » Burkina Faso » Centre » Ouagadougou November 20th 2012

It's been 3 months since I've gotten to site and I already feel more than comfortable at home. I got a puppy a couple weeks after getting there, and he helped me get through two of the roughest months one can face as a Volunteer. Unfortuntately, my dear Bruno passed away last week. Along with each puppy from his litter and several dogs in my neighborhood, he contracted some sort of parasite the veterinarian could not get rid of. With in the same week, a new family moved into my courtyard, a nurse at the CSPS with 3 children all under 10. I couldn't be happier to have such a wonderful family to share my evenings with. I also work with the nurse at the CSPS, which makes feeling comfortable there all that much easier. Thanksgiving ... read more

Africa » Burkina Faso » Centre » Ouagadougou October 19th 2012

The first thing that struck us when we entered the Mali immigration control was just how professional everything looked. Uniforms were clean and crisp, offices were neat and tidy and the officers were polite and friendly. Within 20 minutes we had been processed and were on our way with not a bribe in sight. We were slightly anxious with the prospect of heading to Bamako but we were soon distracted with beautiful rolling countryside that was punctuated with the occasional huge rocky outcrops. It only took three hours to get the capital and we were surprised to find it a pretty modern city that straddled the mighty Niger river. We had actually already passed over the Niger back in Guinea but it was a trickle of a stream compared with the huge expanse of water that ... read more
Street Mechanic - Bamako
Bobo-Dioulasso Market
Match of the Day - Bobo-Dioulasso

Africa » Burkina Faso » Centre » Ouagadougou October 15th 2012

Last night a few volunteers went to the Burkina Faso v. Central African Republic soccer game here in Ouaga. And let me just tell you that it was unlike any other sporting game I've been to. It was AWESOME! We got our tickets earlier that day, got to the stadium, stood in three different lines because they weren't letting people in the doors anymore, finally found an open door and ran through it, got ushered down to the front by some Burkinabe's to sit with them, crammed into the "bleachers" like sardines, and had the best time of our lives! CAR scored within the first couple minutes, but Burkina quickly caught up, winnning 3-1. This was a qualifying game for the African Cup and Burkina did it! The people we were sitting around are probably what ... read more

Africa » Burkina Faso » Centre » Ouagadougou September 18th 2012

So it' been way too long since I have written here. Let's catch up quick: I am three weeks into being a volunteer at site. Right now is kind of difficult because most people are still in the fields for the end of rainy season and school doesn't start until October 1st. I have been spending the past few weeks getting to know my neighbors, other teachers, and boutique owners, as well as anyone else I can find that will listen to me and ask questions. Stage is over, and as crazy busy as it was sometimes, I really do miss being with all my friends all the time. Site is a little lonely when you're the only Nasara and people just stare at you. But I have been spending a lot of time with my ... read more

Africa » Burkina Faso » Centre » Ouagadougou July 1st 2012

We’ve just finished Week 3 of training and, wow. I can honestly say I have never felt like this before. I don’t even know where to start. First, I should let you know that I can only get internet twice a month, if I’m lucky, so don’t expect too many updates. We’ve been in Sapone for the past three weeks and I think I’m finally getting used to it all. Chickens, pigs, goats, sheep, and dogs outnumber the people 5-fold. I wish I could draw a map of my host family’s compound. There are six “houses,” and by that I mean four walls, a tin roof, and a window and door on the same side. Luckily, I have my own house. Another one is for one of my uncle’s, one for my grandpa, one for his ... read more

Africa » Burkina Faso » Centre » Ouagadougou June 7th 2012

We're in Ouagadougou for the next couple days. Then we leave on Saturday with our host families to Sapone. Right now, we're just sitting in a conference room using the free internet (Wahoo!!). We had a bunch of interviews today to place us for French, to update our medical records, and to give more information for our job descriptions. The ground is really red here, very dusty. It's more like a bunch of red sand that's been ground super fine. And hot, man, is it hot. But the current volunteers that met us here say that you adjust quickly, thankfully. There are a bunch of lizard runny the compound. I saw a huge one today that had an orange head and blue body, but it was too quick to take a picture. Flying over the Sahara ... read more

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