Site Visit #2 – Meguet and Zorgho
Once at Meguet, I was exhausted. We arrived at 10am and by 12pm I needed a nap. Diego is the PC volunteer I’m replacing, and he was still at site when I arrived, which I was thankful for. This is helpful because then I didn’t have to stay by myself in a strange town, or try and prepare food without knowing what I was doing. Also the new sites for some of the volunteers have absolutely nothing in them; since I am replacing Diego mine is fully furnished. But after my nap, I drilled Diego with questions about the school, Peace Corps, teaching, the site, about Meguet in general, etc.
I read in my information packet that Diego wrote that the community was unmotivated. After meeting him, I think that in reality it was more likely he who was the unmotivated one. His secondary projects were very generic. I want to bring more to the community – that’s why they requested an American volunteer in the first place. I went over my ideas with my homologue, Rasmada, and he seems genuinely excited about them. Also, staying busy helps the time fly by.
Wednesday night, Diego and I made African mac n’ cheese, then we went to watch the soccer game. I hate soccer, and I fell asleep at the cafe. 🙁
Thursday was amazing! I love how sleeping in is 6am because it’s so bright, or the stupid farm animals won’t shut up. I met the Chief, he has eight wives, and the first thing he asked me is if I was married or single. That made me uncomfortable. But, then while walking through the market, I met the school supervisors and higher authorities.
I went exploring around Meguet with Diego and Rasmada. It was fun to meet people, friends, children, and to visit the school. Afterwards we laid around and read the remainder of the afternoon. Diego called me boring. I really didn’t care because I found him annoying.
This was my first time in a month that I could be by myself and do whatever I wanted without a schedule. It was absolutely and totally amazing to do whatever I wanted. I had my own independence for the first time. For dinner, Diego and I made pita bread type tortillas with beans.
Friday morning, we were required to visit our regional capital. I got up at 6am to catch the bus, but wouldn’t you know it, the bus decided not to come through today. I was pissed at Diego because with this new information, he made me bike to Zorgho that is 25km away in blue jeans. I’m not sure why he didn’t want to wait for the 2pm bus because Zorgho was extremely boring anyway, with nothing really to do.
But just arriving in Zorgho, riding through the market, a local guy walked into the road and tried to get me to stop. He ignored Diego who was in front of me, and reached for my waist. I tried and swerved, but he managed to grab me. I screamed and he let go immediately. I was very scared and shocked; the only thing Diego managed to say was, “sorry that happened to you.” I was infuriated. Wasn’t there anything someone could do? No one seemed to care. I felt violated and disgusting. I immediately hated Zorgho and I had only been in it for five minutes.
Zorgho turned out to be full of beggars and disabled individuals, with absolutely nothing to do. Later on Friday Megan and Ryan showed up and all we did Friday night and Saturday was sit around and talk about how Zorgho was nothing to write home about. (Ironically, here I am writing home about it. Lol.)
Thankfully, Sunday morning we left for Ouaga at 7am and by 10am we were finally at the transit house. The transit house is owned by the Peace Corps, and has roughly 33 beds, a big living room, and a kitchen upstairs. Downstairs is storage and mailboxes. It is beautiful outside, and inside is well kept, just a little dirty. We had internet, showers, and we could be American all we wanted. It was fantastic.
There is also a thing called the grab box. It was full of clothes that people don’t want anymore, are too big/small, or they are COSing. I got a pair of pants. By noon, half of my stage was there, so we showered and went looking for food. Chilling and making lunch, I sent e-mails and surfed the internet. I miss my iPhone so much; it makes me feel guilty, like a spoiled American rich kid. I did buy Birkenstocks, though, for Zazie and myself. This area is tough on footwear, and I wanted something that will last.
For dinner we ordered pizza. They deliver! I couldn’t believe it! It was so good too, but expensive. I didn’t care. In Ouaga, it’s treat yourself time.
We went to watch the soccer game, World Cup 2014. Although I think it’s boring, everyone loves it. We did go to a bar that was clearly meant for foreigners, so I loved that. It had a sand floor and mixed drinks, which was a pleasant changed from wine and beer.
My parents called and again I talked to them for 30 minutes or so. I love when they call, but it’s never long enough. They went to the beach and to look for land an hour north of Land O’ Lakes, Fl. Dad sounds like he likes it, it’s on 35 acres.
Afterwards, about 15 of us went dancing. We packed 7 people into one cab. That was interesting and entertaining. Monday morning, thankfully I didn’t have a headache or a hangover. Unfortunately, we had an eight o’clock meeting on Monday, though. We all complained. 🙁
We all talked about our site; I personally just wanted to go back to bed. They provided lunch at the bureau, which was yummy. Then we went to the embassy. This turned out to be much better than I was expecting. We listened to different opportunities provided for us, as well as work that other Americans were facilitating in Burkina Faso. There they had real coffee with real milk! That was really the best part of the visit, but I won’t tell them that. I am curious to find out more about the public relations position. Afterwards we went back to Ouaga, where I proceeded to sleep the rest of the night.