Saturday, April 19, 2008

April 19

The Peace Corps hostel in Ouaga has about 20 beds in the form of metal bunk beds; however, it is too hot to sleep indoors.

Still it is luxurious sleeping in Ouaga. I pull a good firm mattress off of the bunk beds and take it to the screen enclosed porch and place it right under the ceiling fan. It is a step up from village where I sleep under a mosquito net hanging from the rafters of my straw covered porch, sleeping on a rough, firm nylon strung cot.

Yet last night I was unable to sleep.

Why? Was it the lack of the braying donkeys, dogs, and guinea fowl? Was it that I was too cold from the cooling fan?



Not your ordinary ants, like the little black ones that will quickly cover a chocolate chip cookie.
No, these were those big ones where you don't need a magnifying glass to see the different balloon parts of the scurrying creature.
Scurry here, scurry there, scurry all over my bed, and all over me.

It was like a dream, but not.

April 14

The UN is calling for international support for the World Food Bank. A food shortage is foreseen for the future. The rising cost of food will create famine.

The people of Burkina Faso are protesting the rising cost of goods demanding the government to do something. Little did I know that this is a global problem, one that is complicated. I am a chemist not an economist.

April 13

Last summer a group of us dug up dirt, mud, clay-like earth and moved it by the bucketful to raise the front porch in front of my door. We had a tapping fest packing the earth into a hardened floor, no need for cement.

This is the floor I live on. It is the floor of my living room, my kitchen, and my bedroom. Each day it fills with trash onion skins, mango skins, the stems of the wild eggplant plants from which we tore the leaves, peanut shells, candy wrappers, and bones from a goat stew. Trash is thrown onto my living space ground. Each evening before dark, I sweep the dirt using brooms made out of dried grass. Amazing how clean dirt can become and how dirty I become in the dust cloud.

Today one of my 2 year old visitors announced, "I have to pee."

But before she could get her underwear down and off to the latrine she peed right on the spot where I lay my head each night to sleep. Dirt is easier to clean than carpet. Is potty training easier in a life lived outside?