Saturday, October 6, 2007


Hey there, welcome to Kampti. Sorry I haven't written lately, the internet in Gaoua and I aren't on the best of terms. This first picture is of me, I'm out in the bush exploring. But rain is a comin'.

I head for the hills, well, a hill, to find shelter. Halfway up everything is "shrouded in mist," "veiled in haze," and (to use a more personal description) the trees look like little broccoli crowns fresh out of the steamer, just before the carrots find their way into the packaged melange that is the jason's deli side of steamed vegetables (a good thing to get if you really want the california club but don't want to skimp on nutrition).

But the rain clears just as I reach the plateau. It looks like this. Exactly like this.

It's kind of high up, should I jump?

Nah, too lazy. I'll just turn around, scratch my neck, and smile.

The next day I stumble across the ruins of Loropeni, about ten miles from home.

Neat huh? I'm pretty tired at this point, so I head home. From my porch I can tell that it's a good thing I left the ruins when I did, night's on the way.

There ya go, hope you like em! Oh and for some reason I never got around to taking an actual picture of my house. But I took one of my desk. No idea why.

I can't tell you why I, when describing pictures I'm posting, write like a 4 year old explaining the steps one takes when making a peanut butter sandwich. For some reason, I get the vague feeling I'm an old person in a curtains drawn living room showing you my slides from a vacation you made the mistake of asking about. So I fight that thought back with childish minimalism. But in any case I hope you like the pictures. I love the area I'm in, and I'm really excited that I'm able to share it with everyone I like and love back home.

The last couple of weeks have flown by. School is starting up this week, so I'll be sitting in on classes and getting to know everyone a bit better. I've read some great books too. Dry by Augusten Burroughs is good stuff, as is anything and everything by David Sedaris. Also, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas by Robbins is okay, but not as accessible or rewarding as Jitterbug Perfume. Atonement is awful, don't ever buy it. Winesburg, Ohio is good but repetitive, so you can stop after the first story. Mother Night by Vonnegut (I can never spell his name) turned out to be really well done, a lot better in my opinion than Breakfast of Champions. I've forgotten a few others, but I'm loving the fact that I get to read so much. When I was a kid every so often I used to wake up in the middle of the night and then read until just before morning, when I stole an hour of sleep before Cheerios and school. Now I have plenty of time to do all the reading I want.

So what do I do for fun out in village? Well, I'm lucky in the fact that there are restaurants around me. My favorite is Le Prestige. I actually ran out of gas to cook with, so I've been eating out every day for the last two weeks. It's not that I can't get gas, just that I realized I can eat out 4 times a day for about a dollar and seventy five cents. Also, there is a movie theatre (or a place where you sit outside in plastic chairs and watch the side of a building). A guy comes around and you can order Cokes and grilled chicken from him. Each movie is 50 francs, or ten cents. So far I've seen two Arnold Schwarzenegers, a Jean Claude Van Damme, some french films, and french dubbed episodes of Two and a Half Men. So to answer the question that opened the paragraph, I eat out and watch movies and TV. Oh and I read and write. And talk to Mom and Dad on the phone.

I hang out with my neighbors and some kids that come around and want to talk. Also, anytime you see people eating here in Burkina, they always let you know you're invited to join them. Not one to refuse such an invitation, I usually drink tea three or four times a day with various villagers including, but not limited to: the guy I buy phone cards from, the woman I buy bananas from, the kids I buy milk from, the woman I buy beans from, the guy I go biking with, the local military officer, the school teacher, the guy I buy bread from, and the guy I buy eggs from.

Speaking of all this food, I have a bit of an appetite. See you all not soon enough, Clay.