Sunday, August 15, 2010


Well, it IS the rainy season here, so it should not be surprising that we are now getting rain almost every day. Sometimes there are short bursts of heavy rain, lasting an hour or so. Sometimes it rains two or three times a day. Other times, like last night, the rain goes on and on. I just hope my house in my future site is on high ground! Now that the rain has started I see that all the empty lots in the town that looked like nothing was there but weeds and trash have turned into fields to raise corn and okra (gumbo here). There are even cultivated patches along the dirt roads in the town. And things are growing, like crazy. You just hope they mature before the rains stop.

The future

We have less than two weeks before we are sworn in as volunteers and we disburse to our various sites around the country. After that I may not have access to the internet very often, or it may be just as handy as it has been here at the training site. I am living with a host family and the internet café is a short three block walk from here. In other words, my number of posts may decline when I move to a smaller place.


I am getting better are the bike riding bit. I expect eventually I will be comfortable with it, but riding in traffic with motos, mopeds and other bikes, three abreast on a paved road, with an occasional car or truck coming up behind you or at you is still a bit scary. I have a 24 speed bike, but only use the middle 8 gears because the country here is pretty flat and I am lazy. That does mean that I go faster than the lady on a gearless bike with a baby on her back, or the guy driving the donkey cart, so I do have to pass people. You have to keep track of those motos passing you while you are passing others.

All Peace Corps members and employees have to wear bike helmets. If we are seen riding without helmets, we could be sent home! Bike helmets are not a concept for the Burkinabé, so if you see anyone with a helmet, you know they are Peace Corps folks. I, of course, am totally happy to have my helmet on any time I am on the bike. I also wear the biking gloves I brought, so that, if I take a tumble, I will not be so likely to scrape up my hands. I was sure glad I had them on a couple of weeks ago when I tipped over trying to get on my bike with my back pack strapped on the back of it. The scrape on my knee is now healed, but my hands were not hurt at all. By the way, I now wear the back pack rather than trying to strap it on the bike and that works better.


  1. I love reading these posts!! Thank you so much for writing. I was just talking with a friend yesterday about how biking on the roads makes me nervous. It's funny to think that we'd be having the same conversations in such very different contexts and countries. Keep writing :)

  2. Hey Jan! I was just checking the JCU psych dept. webpage to see any recent news and saw THIS! I was very pleasantly surprised...and I am so EXCITED for you! You are truly an amazing woman...and an inspiration to me. I wish you all of the best in your travels and with your work. They are lucky to have you and I'm sure it will be an amazing experience. I'm really looking forward to following your blog.
    Warmest regards,
    Tesia Marshik (2005 JCU grad)

    PS) Just thought you might like to know that I finished my PhD program at UF and just started as an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. (I love it here so far! The town, the school, the people...all great!)