Trip Start Dec 01, 2007
37Trip End Mar 27, 2010
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What can I say about my first 2 days at site. First I must say my counterpart is by far the best. She is amazing and I think I would have cried a lot without her. Zach, Sarah and I with our counterparts took our first bush taxi ride to Kissidougou, though we dropped Sarah off after only 5 hours. We were crammed into a small 5 passenger car, 7 of us, 4 of us in the back. I sat between Sarah and Zach so my ride was actually quite comfortable. I had to stay in Kissidougou for the night because no taxis were leaving. The town shut down to watch the first game of the African Cup- Ghana v
For dinner, Zach and I had chicken and french fries which we downed with a fanta. It was so good. Therese watched me at the counterpart workshop and saw that I refused to eat rice and sauce so she never tried to feed it to me, even though it's staple Guinean food. I love her. I stayed that night in the Kissi hotel, which was quite nice with no mice or bed bugs. This morning I met Monsieur le DPS (Directeur Prefectorial de la Santé). He's important so I gave him kola nuts and said a bunch of thank yous over and over. Then it was time to go to my village. Therese found me a taxi. I waited for the taxi to leave for about an hour and a half during which I was surrounded by Guinean men. An old man came up to the group that was talking to me and said "She is my wife", in French of course. And I looked at him and said, "I'm your wife?" "Yes" he replied. "Ok," I said and stuck out my hand, "Give me money." The whole group of men erupted into laughter and told him he needed to give me money because Guinean wives do not have money, the husband must give it to them. He shook his head, turned around and walked away. Next a younger man told me he wanted to marry a white woman but it was impossible. I said nothing is impossible, dear friend, here's what you have to do. Never say the words "Woman's work" to a white woman. If you want to marry a white woman you need to change your thinking on that point. You must do all the cooking, clothes washing, house cleaning, etc
But wow, Gbangbadou is rustic but the people seem very excited to have me. I got to see my little round mud hut. It's not finished yet so I'm staying at my counterpart's house. My hut is one room and very, very small. My hole in the ground which some like to call a toilet and/or shower is out back and will be bricked in. The bathroom I'm currently using is covered with leaves and I must say I'm not impressed by the coverage, or lack thereof. It appears I will have enough land to have a garden and some chickens. And the Malinke that I'm supposed to learn just isn't going to happen. Everyone here has told me I need to learn Kissi. So that will be fun...any English/Kissi or French/Kissi dictionaries out there?
One last note, the forest food is awesome. And they have pigs!! I think I'm going to be very content here.