Softball and Normalcy

Last weekend I was back in Ouaga again for long president’s day weekend. I came into town for two reasons: 1) work on a couple of internal databases for the Peace Corps office, and 2) play in the annual SOFANWET Ouaga softball tournament. I won’t bore you with details on the databases, and instead get onto the good stuff with regards to the softball.

First a little background. Due to some miscommunication, I was under the impression that that PC team roster was full. When I mentioned this to a PC staff member he put me in touch with the US embassy team who offered me a spot with them. And what a fortuitous, though traitorous situation that was. My team went on to win the competitive division, while the PC team failed to win a game, even in the social division. Sorry guys, maybe next year? Even better, the embassy folks get together most Saturdays for informal games and practice, so when I’m in town on a weekend I’ll plan on stopping by more regularly.

The game was held at ISO, the International School of Ouagadougou, and everything about it made me feel like I was in the US for the weekend. Just about everyone was speaking English, people’s clothes seemed American made, and we were eating chili-cheese-dogs, snow-cones, and pizza. It was just so normal, which was strange. There were 10 teams, 6 in the social league and 4 in the competitive league. Most players were American, but there was one local Burkinabe team. They were actually quite good, and while their baseball technique wasn’t perfect, you could tell they were the most athletic.

Check out a few pics (click to enlarge). The last photo, featuring the tortoise, is the school mascot, and is in play when he stumbles onto the field (which he did numerous times). Nothing like making sure you don’t trip over a tortoise while trying to catch a fly ball.

The week before, the President of the Friends of Burkina Faso, a Burkina RPCV alumni group, came to my region for a meetup. It was great to see him, 30+ years after his service here, speaking fairly fluent Mooré and spending time with all of his friends from so long ago. Definitely inspiring to see how we can make life-long connections here and great to meet others who have had the same experiences we are having. It was also fun to meet up with the other PCVs in the region.



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The opinions on this blog are only those of the author, and and do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.