June 17, 2012

BitterSweet

A lot can happen in two years. My close ones have had a lot of very special events and things happen in their lives while I've been here: holidays, babies, moves, grad school... It is one of the hardest things I have had to "give up" to be here. Not the electricity, or the language, or even the food. It's the moments I've had to miss.

Words can't describe how full of happiness and pride and love for everybody I always am; equally they can't really describe how much it absolutely sucks to miss it (whatever it may be). Who knew that being physically present at other people's boring ceremonies was actually really important? Apparently some people already get that, but it's taken me being on another continent to really appreciate it. People have gone out of their way to include me as much as possible but it still just... hurts. Life is like that sometimes I guess. The bitter and the sweet, the happy and the sad... they go together.


June 16, 2012

Oh, Life

A few pictures from my life the last few months...

This is my new friend, Solange. She came to our village because her mom was deemed a witch, disavowed by her husband and thrown out of her village. Her mom went to another place to try and remarry but had to give up all four of her kids. Solange now helps out the extended family in my village and plans on attending school next year.



THIS is a traditional mask in Burkina Faso (the whole outfit). I was fortunate enough to attend a mask ceremony in my village. It's not everyday someone rich or important enough dies to get masks after the funeral! They danced and it was awesome!
 
Men dancing at the mask festival.



Me actually working! I hardly have any pictures of myself, but one of the nurses-in-training took this for me. I am showing the women who came to weigh their babies how to make a mosquito repellant out of local leaves ("Neem Cream") to help prevent malaria.