Saturday, 7 June 2014

I wake up at 11:30p.m., 3:30a.m. and finally 6a.m. I hope that I don’t sleep talk. But as soon as the alarm goes off, I’m up and off to take a shower. Wait, there aren’t any towels… I used a t-shirt instead. Breakfast consisted of bread and jam; I already miss coffee.

For the first day of orientation, we run around in the sun and heat doing interviews for housing, medical, and stuff like that. Also bike fitting, money exchange, new phone, and debit card. Lunch was an all pasta dish. All their dishes are very carby, and it’s an adjustment for me. Just the first of many, I’m thinking.

I’m going to have to start working out so I don’t gain more weight. I want to get fit! Although we do sweat a lot and will be riding our bikes a lot, too. I found out today that we get our own home site and don’t have to stay with our host families the full 27 months! That kinda makes me excited.

After lunch, we get a two hour period to ourselves. We decide to go into the market/city. Ouagadougou is the capital of B.F., but still not a huge city. Wow, what an experience it was! I should have brought my camera.

First, it’s way hotter than the hotel because there is no shade. Some complete stranger – a Burkina local – stopped his motorized bike to pee along the side of the road. I’m telling the honest truth. Apparently this is a common practice over here, and totally acceptable. Adjustment number 2, I silently note.

Most of the market stunk from trash lying all over the side of the roads. There are no trash cans anywhere. Women were breast feeding out in public without even trying to cover up, yet we can’t wear thin straps or dresses above our knees… Dogs ran loose with matted, dirty fur 🙁  and it made me think of my dad back in Tampa. I saw a dead goat for the first time – again laying out by the side of the road. Everything about going to the market experience was new in so many different aspects.

Going back to camp we got an hour and a half tutorial on how to change a bike tire and how to “ride a bike.” That was a joke, and I was tired of standing up. The heat knocks out a lot of your energy. But we got an awesome surprise today! We had another two hour break and our stand-in country director brought in his personal wifi for us to use! It took me thirty minutes to connect to it, but I was able to read three e-mails and send two before my time was up. I wrote letters in a word document and then just copied and pasted to save time. That was such a good idea!

Dinner was a treat because the country director bought us dinner and sat with us. I was falling asleep during dinner, however. Oops. Not good. Zazie and I decided to go to bed, but rather so far we are staying up talking, listening to music, and writing blogs. I’m going to bed now though. Good night 🙂

Thoughts: What is one’s idea of success? How do you define it? and How do you reach it?

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