Tuesday, January 30, 2007

et une decision

First off, anytime I write in French (or any other language) I won't be writing accents. A) I have no idea how to do it on anything else than microsoft word, and B) I'm lazy - I offer any linguaphile reading this my humblest apologies. Now on to Africa. When we think of the continent, we probably think of safaris, wild animals, Swahili, and beautiful surroundings. On that note, I had the chance to choose Kenya as my new destination following the Guinea mishap. My other choice was Burkina Faso, an extremely poor and landlocked country sitting on the Sahel, a place where the night rarely brings temperatures below 90 degrees. It's important to put this in its proper context: my mind still echoes thoughts of Guinea, the beautiful coastal country filled with rainforests and waterfalls. Of course I would choose Kenya, right? Nope, I picked Burkina Faso for a few different reasons.

1) French is spoken in Burkina, as well as over 50 local languages (English is one of the languages spoken in Kenya).

2) My job description in Burkina, Girls Empowerment and Education, is a much better fit than the one offered in Kenya. The program is a relatively new one in Burkina, and I feel I'll have a better chance of doing the most good.

3) In the long run, the job is what matters most. After talking with Robin and Erin (someone I've never met but was assigned to Guinea with me), I understood this. How many days a week am I going to go on safari and take pictures of wild animals? Maybe one or two at best. How many days a week will I be going to work? Five or more. A good job is what matters most.
Every day I'm getting more and more excited about Burkina. Should I have given up on the Peace Corps and followed some other plan (like getting to grad school a little earlier)? Not really, Peace Corps is my plan, something I've wanted to do for years. I guess I could just make travel a priority throughout my life and forgo the PC, but I don't want to travel. I want to be a part of a place and expand and define my meaning of the word "home".
At any rate, I'll be around until June 4th. My sister just got a job today in San Antonio (congratulations!), and it'll be awesome helping her move in and bothering her with lots of phonecalls while she's in a professional environment. We're all sad to see Maggie leave at such a young age, but it really is too good of a job to finish middle school for. Just kidding, of course Katie's the one leaving.
If you want to find any information about Burkina Faso, just type its name into Google and you'll find all kinds of pictures and websites. Something I can tell you here is that Burkina ranks 174 out of 177 countries in the latest HDI (an index measuring life expectancy, standard of living, education, etc). Sadly, the average age expectancy is around 47 years. Sobering.
Good luck to everyone during the spring semester; I wish you the best.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

All i want to know is why don't you ever mention all the nice things your mother does for you?