To all the newbies coming to Burkina: Get ready for a GREAT experience, Burkina`s ready for you!!!!
Ahhh its June and I haven’t written a blog in a very looooong time! I have been super busy these past 2 months and I feel like I haven’t spent any time in village(which I have)
Mother to Child Health Conference:
This was a week long conference where I brought a lady and we learned about all things concerning mother to child health, like breast feeding, home-made pourage, family planning, etc. This conference was really great. I got to chose the women who went with me, and she is pretty motivated in village. After the program ended she cane up to me and said she wanted to help me get together a program to do pourage for the CSPS and other small educational talks. I happy for this, but I haven’t been in village long enough to make it happen, but I’m going to this month.
I had a friend from home come to visit. We had such a great time. It started off kinda rocky because she missed her first initial flight then when she got here the airlines had lost her luggage. But in the end the trip was great. We started out in my village, where she gave candy to EVERY CHILD. Towards the end everyone was following us around hoping to get a sucker. Im pretty sure everyone will remember her forever. I still get asked when is she coming back with more candy!!! After a few days we went to a game reserve near Pama (south of Fada) to see some animals. There aren’t as many animals here as you would see in other parts of Africa, but I got pretty close to some Elephants, so I’m happy. It was pretty neat to expereince something like that semi- close to my house. The last day we spent in Ouaga, which it rained, giving us a little break during the heat.
New Mothers Program:
This was a program that I did in my village. It was designed for first time mothers. It also happened that all my mothers were ages 17-19. this program was for 3 days. The first day we discussed overall health and uses of my CSPS. This included things like if your child has a fever for one day do this, but if it continues for more than one day do this. The second day was mother health and hygiene, this included all things related to moms, like keeping the house clean, having good personal hygiene, and using family planning(or spacing). The last day was child health and hygiene. We talked a lot about malnutrition and child development. I explained that at certain months children should be sitting up, or talking, etc. I also explained how to make proper food for the babies after 6 months.
This was a really good program, I loved how well the interaction with the women and their children went.
I went to Kongussi ( a new place for me) and participated in a conference for girls. I also went with two girls ages 17 & 18. They learned a lot about reproduction, puberty, role models, and making good choices. This was a volunteer conference, so we had the girls busy from sun up to sun down. We learned how to make jam, paper, soap, jewelry, etc. we tried to actually do things they could do in village for little or no cost. This was a really great opportunity for these girls, most have never left their area of Burkina, let alone experience some great things. My girls love meeting new people from all over Burkina.
In my village we put on a “big day of health” during market day. This event was sponsored by PLAN international and my CSPS. It was basically to show appreciation to women in village who actually do things proper, like women who come to 4 pre natal consultations, or women who make healthy food for their children using ingredients they have at their house. There was a lot of traditional practices included, like dancing and singing. After the actual ceremony was over, the market started where kids could win prizes like cookies, or mosquito nets, t-shirts, etc. This market was really busy, its the most people I have ever seen in my market at one time.
That leads me up to this week, where I am in Ouyoughua to help prep for the new trainees that are coming in the next few weeks! Its a week long training to help the trainers get all the kinks out, and hopefully allow the training period go smoothly.
I will head back to village on Sunday, where I will stay for 2 weeks, then I am working training for two weeks, and going directly to Italy for my older brothers wedding. Im pretty much booked until August. There is so much to do, but not enough weeks to do them.
As for me, I am still having a blast, things could never be better. Life is difficult most days, but the reward is worth it.