ANYwhere: hey hey

Hello Hello. 2009 has been an interesting one so far. I am finally getting settled into my new home and surroundings. I really like my village of Nakaba, it has a lot of potential and the people here are very open to having a Nasarah (foreigner) live in their village.

My Home:
I have one large room that I use as my kitchen, living area and “study.”
I have 2 smaller rooms, one that I use as my bedroom, that has nothing init, but a cot with a mosquito net. My other room is my closet and over flow room that catches anything I don’t know what to do with.

I painted my house light green and I am getting furniture made that will be ready in a few weeks. I still have a few things to buy but it is rather hard when I live 30k away from a descent market. All I have is my bike so I have to buy a little at a time. I plan to have everything how I want it by March when I go to In-service training.
I have an outdoor kitchen area that I added a mud stove to, kind of like a fire pit for cooking where I plan to do most of my cooking when hot season approaches. In my courtyard I added a fire pit so I can burn my trash weekly, and a hanger that provides plenty of shade.

My home is on the hospital compounds, so I don’t have any neighbors except my head nurse and his family and the mid-wife and her family. Even then I can’t see them from front door.

Actual pictures of my house are coming soon. I want to upload the before and after photos.

My Typical Day:
I wake up naturally around 7, get ready, eat something and hang around until 8:45ish and then head to the CSPS. I go from building to building to greet all the staff and villagers that are already there. Some days it takes forever and some days no time at all. After that I go to the maternity building and weight babies. Mostly I just sit there and play with the babies that don’t cry when I hold them and try to write down the names of the kids in the weight log. It is a lot harder that it sounds because I can’t read Burkanibe handwriting and when I ask in Moore, the women are surprised I am speaking to them. They respond by smiling and saying Lafi, which means fine or okay in Moore.

Weighing babies takes how ever long I want it to, after that women and kids leave the morning pretty much comes to a stand still, so I find a corner in the nurse’s office to read a book or study. I try and sit at the CSPS until lunch so I don’t miss any of the action.

After lunch I do whatever I feel like. I try to go on along walk so I can get used to Nakaba and meet local people. Some days I go to the school or the local mill and talk with the women that are waiting to get their flour ground. I usually go where I can find some people to talk to for a while. Once the sun starts to set I shower then head over to my major’s house for dinner.

My major (head nurse) and family are SUPER-WONDERFUL! He makes sure I am being taken care of and has on a few occasions went to purchase things for me, since he has a motto. When I first arrived to site, he had a huge welcoming for me. The whole town came and my major told them why I am here and so forth.

His wife insist I eat dinner with them every night because she doesn’t believe me when I tell her I can cool(which is fine for me)its hard to cook for one person when you don’t have a market to buy ingredients daily and no motto to go get them. Food is also hard to purchase because I have no way of keep the food fresh.

Common Questions people ask me:
Have you seen any wild animals?
NO! Not unless you count donkeys, goats and rooster as a wild animals.
Do you have electricity? And how can you survive without it?
I do not have electricity or running water. I have a whole in the ground I use as a toilet and shower. I am getting along just fine without it. It’s not that hard to survive once you get used to it.

New Years Resolution:
1.Go a whole day without getting dirty. The Burkinabe can do it, why can’t I?
2.Not have babies cry when they see me. They cry because I am white, not because I am doing any harm to them.

It has also come to my attention that every day is a struggle and I have been keeping a count on how many times Burkina has kicked my butt. The count is a million to none.

Thanks again for all the comments, I hope everyone has a wonderful 2009, I know I sure am! 

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