I’ve made it here to Burkina! It’s been pretty hectic these past few days, but I’m feeling pretty good about everything so far. We had an uneventful flight, connecting through Brussels, and then our first two nights in a hotel in Ouagadougou, or just Ouaga for short. We filled out a lot of paperwork (this is a government job after all), got some shots, were issued our mountain bikes and water filters, and were introduced to the Peace Corps Burkina staff.
On the second night we had a welcome dinner at our country director’s (CD) house, which was quite elegant. There have been a lot of changes in the past week. We were in Philly for staging, spent about 30 hours in transit, spent our first two nights in Ouaga, then this current three night stretch at our training center in Koudougou before moving in with our host families tomorrow. Of the 31 trainees in my group, about half are SED (Small Enterprise Development) trainees, while the other half are Health Extension. Before coming to Burkina I had two main concerns; my lack of French, and the high temperatures of Sub-Saharan Africa. Both have certainly come to fruition. I’m slowly getting used to the idea that I won’t be able to understand much and that I’ll only feel clean for an hour or so each day. Internet/phone access has been surprisingly good so far, though I’ve resisted the urge to get out my laptop until today. I’m hoping to buy a cell phone soon so I can hear from you all back in the States.