Posts Tagged ‘Life


Mid-Service Conference & Thanksgiving

Photo Credit: JK

My stage (training group) just finished up what is known as our Mid-Service Conference (MSC) in Ouagadougou last week. It was a great chance to get together and see how everyone is doing, talk current/future plans, make sure we’re healthy, and eat some great food. For the holiday, our administrative officer invited us over for board games and brunch, while our country director had us over later for the main event. Turkey, ham, empinadas, green been caserole, pumpkin/apple pie, and just about anything else you can think of were had. Coupled with a few leisurely days in Ouaga where I played tennis and even golf, I momentarily thought I was back in the USA (look at all of that sweet, sweet grass in the photo)!



“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’”

— Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell

While speaking to politics, Mitchell’s quote speaks to any life changing experience where those who have not experienced something just don’t get it. Peace Corps can be like that.


Chez Moi 2.0

I realize I haven’t shown any images of my updated home setup since after just after moving in back  in January. The changes are relatively minor, but it’s the little things that make a house a home, right? The most visible changes are the addition of a lipico, essentially a pool lounge type chair that I use as a bed/couch in conjunction with a sleeping pad, and all of the items up on the walls. I essentially spend all of my time in the front room (where there is a ceiling fan) and use the back room only for showering and storage.

Be on the lookout for: blue Peace Corps 50th anniversary fabric we had made, a homemade photo wall made with wood, string, and rocks, a map of Ouaga, pleather covering for my coffee table, plastic covering for my kitchen tables, hooks for clothes, lots of additional water storage, masks, a highlighted world map of countries where Peace Corps has served (thanks Erin!), and my awesome blue/orange chair that I where i typical sit for most of the time I spend in my house.


Zombie Film: The Dead

Taking a break from my usual development related posts, the sole reason for this one is to show you the trailer for The Dead – a zombie movie shot in Burkina Faso. I particularly enjoyed the shots of family courtyards, the Domes de Fabedougou, and driving through millet fields.

In the first zombie road movie set against the spectacular vistas of Africa, the Dark Continent becomes a dead zone. A stunningly shot horror fantasy announcing the arrival of the Ford Brothers on the global genre scene, THE DEAD is as much an emotional journey through terror terrain as it is a physically demanding and beautiful-looking one. Shot in life-threatening, never-before-seen locations in Burkina Faso, French-speaking West Africa, and Ghana, including the Sahara Desert, on 35mm film by the award-winning Ford Brothers, THE DEAD is one of the most unique zombie movies of all time.


Peace Corps 50th Anniversary Fair

Photo Credit: Hayley Droppert

The bike tour arrival and new volunteer swear-in were the kick-off events to a three day anniversary fair held in downtown Ouagadougou. The fair had a lot of booths (many of which were PCV partners), information sessions, music/dancing, a fashion show, and even American carnival games (including a dunk tank). Speeches by the Burkinabe First Lady, US Ambassador, and PC Country Director were followed by a concert by Floby, one of Burkina’s biggest music acts to close out the festivities.

Check out this video and some of my photos from the fair.


New Education and Agriculture PCVs Swear-In

After almost three months of training, a new group of 48 education and agriculture PCVs swore in at the Maison du Peuple in Ouagadougou on September 22nd. The Burkinabé Prime Minister and the US Ambassador both spoke at the event, which kicked off a three day Peace Corps 50th anniversary fair. Unfortunately, most of the new group will be heading to the North and Southwest, but we will be adding one new PCV to the East at least.



New Business Cards

Awhile back I showed you some local business cards, so I figured I should show off my own as well. Though many of my fellow PCVs find it amusing that I carry business cards around, they’ve been incredibly handy for me. I give them out to all of the borrowers I meet (100+ so far), potential work contacts, expats, and other people that I meet while traveling. While I liked the design of my old cards, I had ordered them before arriving in Burkina and without knowing my contact information in-country and writing my number on each one was getting annoying. While back in the US on vacation made sure to resupply from VistaPrint – this time adding a bit more information and sprucing up the back (with the GPS coordinates of my house no less). I also picked up matching cards for my Burkinabe colleague and next door neighbor who requested some after seeing me making the design.


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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.