19 June 2010

Is this how other volunteers live ALL THE TIME?!

When school ended last year, I was ready to get out of dodge. Most of
my projects last summer were in other cities and villages. Combined
with the vacation I took, I spent around three weeks total in village
between May and October, usually only a few days at a time.
This summer, with so little time left, I'm spending as much of it as
possible without leaving. I begrudge the fact that I'll have to spend
a few days in Ouaga for paperwork and language tests even. Long story
short, this is the first time I've really gotten to hang out and do
projects without the specter of school constantly over my head. And
while I've said for two years that I'm best suited to be an education
volunteer, having a day-to-day job rather than unprogrammed, hazy
ideas of what to do like other volunteers, I'm loving this freedom.
This week, I was working my demo field and 3 times someone came by and
told me about a celebration somewhere. And I did what I could never do
with classes - I dropped what I was doing and went and celebrated with
my community.
The first was a Catholic baptism. Several dozen, actually, of many
ages. The next, two days later, was a Muslim "baptism" - I doubt
that's really the proper word, but that's what people call it. These
happen 7 days after birth (or some other multiple of 7 if the family
can't scrape the money together the first week), in this case a
Tuesday. I wore my boubou, with a muslim cap even. And just to
underline the enviable religious tolerance here, the (Catholic) girl
who presented the infant to the imam was wearing her Sunday best - a
complet with "Christ Is Risen" all over it. The third was ... but
first, a flashback.
Saturday, I commented to a friend how sorry I was not to have gotten
good pictures of the masks at the recent fête. He said not to worry,
the mayor had just announced a second, smaller fête. It would be in 4
days, and some masks would be back. Monday, I mention to another
friend that I'm excited about the fête on Wednesday. Tbc...

No comments: