Sunday, July 31, 2011


Who would have thought there is an amusement park in Burkina Faso? I
definitely didn’t, so when we heard about faso parc, of course we had
to go and see if for ourselves. There are only 5 kids left at the
orphanage for the summer and not much to do in Yako, so we decided to
take the kids on a day trip to Ouaga. The plan was to leave early that
morning in the pickup truck, spend the day at Faso Parc, get lunch
from a restaurant in Ouaga, and head home. But nothing in Africa goes
as planned. By 8:30am everyone was loaded in the truck and wearing
their nice clothes. I’m not sure if my favorite outfit was Achielle’s
with his nice sneakers, scarf, baseball cap, and murse or Biba’s with
her clip-on plastic earrings, fancy dress, and dora the explorer
clutch purse. Anyways, so we were all waiting in the truck, super
excited, looking like divas, and the truck won’t start. After about 5
minutes, they decide to call the mechanic and we all get out.
Apparently someone had just bumped something because when our driver
got back in it started right away. It was a little later than we had
planned, but we were on our way!
First, our driver took us to the national forest, which is not where
we told him to go. Then, when we finally did make it to Faso Park, we
were told the place had been rented out so we had to wait until 3. It
was only about 11 then we decided to go back to the National forest
instead. There was a zoo there that a tour guide took us through and
we learned lots of interesting things. For example, apparently if you
feed wild animals cooked meat they become tame, so the zoo cooks the
animals food and serves it with rice. Also, the reason tortoises live
to be 150 years old is because they’re vegetarians. So Kenzie, I guess
you’re going to be pretty old. I’m no animal expert, but I must admit
that I was a bit skeptical.
The tour only lasted about 30 minutes so we decided to go back to Faso
Parc and try again, but now it was closed for sieste. They told us we
could come back after sieste and by this time we decided we might as
well wait. So we found a good Burkinabe restaurant, ate some rice, and
went back yet again to Faso Parc. Time works different here, so when
they said it opens at 3 that meant the workers will start to get here
around 3:15. But, eventually we made it in. The rides were like rides
at a carnival and about half of them worked. But they did have working
bumper cars, go kart-ish things, trampolines, paddle boats, and a
carousel and the kids had a great time. We had to leave by 4 to be
home in time for dinner but we had a fun 45 minutes.
I think I’ll wait until I’m home before trying to go to an amusement park again.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Every Sunday for the past few weeks we've been doing a little bible
study in one of the small villages outside of Yako. It's very
informal, we just sing, tell a story, make a craft or play a craft,
and then eat candy. The first week there were maybe 15-30 kids there,
all very shy. Unsure if the kids would continue coming or if they
would lose interest, I was surprised this week when we came to see a
mass of kids waiting outside. When they saw our car, they start
cheering and waving and running towards us. There were about 100 kids
there. Apparently it was a success last time (I think it was the
candy, if there's one thing I've learned from my mom it's the best way
to get people to like you is by feeding them). No matter what the
reason was, it was very cool to see how excited these kids were to see
us and learn about God. We are going back to Dorri tomorrow to do a
VBS and I am very excited to see what God will do for that village.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Rachel and Maria left Tuesday night to fly back to the US so Becky,
Anna, Kelsey, Maria, Rachel, and I decided to go into Ouaga on Monday
so those two could have the city experience. We took a bus, my first
time in Burkina, and after hearing stories about other people’s bus
fiascos I was a little nervous. Thankfully though, it didn’t break
down or burst into flames or anything like that (yes it has happened
before). There weren’t enough seats so I had to sit on the floor,
which wasn’t too terrible but by the end of the 2 hour trip I was more
than a little sore. After arriving in Ouagadougou’s very busy bus
station, we had to find and flag down a taxi. I had never even been in
a taxi in America so I was pretty excited about riding in one in
Africa—at least I was at first. But, after lugging your bags halfway
across the city before getting picked up, the excitement disappears.
When we finally did find a taxi, there were already two people in it,
but they very graciously said they would get out and find a new one or
walk so we could use it. I love you Burkina. Cramming 3 people in the
front seat and 4 people in the back seat of this very small 5 seat
taxi was fun, but we made it where we needed to go.
While we were in Ouaga, I got my fill of good American food and think
I will survive the next 2 weeks. Also, we went to the artisan, which
is a market that a bunch of Burkinabe artists use. There’s jewelry,
sculptors, weavers, painters, and carpenters. It was very cool getting
to see the different forms of African art. Me and Anna rode back on
the bus Tuesday afternoon, while the others stayed to take Maria and
Rachel to the airport. I was happily surprised to find that this bus
had cushioned seats for everyone, air conditioning (thank you Jesus!),
and multiple TVs. We all had a really good time exploring the
different parts of Ouaga and getting to experience the public
transportation. It was a very nice little vacation before getting back
to work as normal Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


After a very long year, the kids finally got out of school Wednesday.
The secondary school has been out for a while now but the primary
school kids just finished. On their last day they had a party that we
were invited to. The top kids in each class got recognized and were
given little gifts, they sang, and then had a feast for lunch. The
kids were excited because there was fish in their rice, and by that I
mean the whole fish. Head. Tail. The whole shabang. One of the girls
offered some to me but I politely refused. I did get to eat some nice
goat though with the teachers. I'm sad because almost all the kids
have or are about to go home for the summer. Most of them go to live
with relatives in villages or different cities just until school
starts again. I already miss all my friends. So, I will be spending a
lot of time with the babies and the few kids that remain for the rest
of my time here.


Yes, I must admit that I, Rebecca Dalton, have now eaten bugs.The
worst part is that it wasn't even served by an African, but instead by
my sneaky American friends. We made teams and a schedule for cooking
dinner and we put Becky and Rachel together (what were we
thinking???). So they made this awesome chicken and fried rice that
everyone enjoyed and piled on their plates. Later, with full stomachs,
we were playing cards and someone made the innocent comment that "what
you don't know can't kill you". Rachel and Becky looked at each other
and started laughing and out came the story. Apparently you have to
wash your rice before you use it here, something they didn't realize,
because when they put the rice in the boiling water a ton of little
bugs floated to the top. Instead of taking out the rice and cleaning
it, they decided that was too much work, they kept cooking it and
served it to us without saying anything. They now call themselves team
extra fiber. For some reason, the leftovers never got eaten.

Monday, July 11, 2011


So July 4 came and Kelsey me and were both feeling a little melancholy for the lack of fireworks and barbeque in Africa, so we decided to have a "happy birthday America" party with the kids African style. I've noticed that any party or gathering in Burkina involves a bongo drum and singing. So, we sang and danced some, ate cookies, and gave all the kids sparklers that someone had left here (it was as close to fireworks as we could get). We all had a really good time and it was fun having a twist of African and American.

A few days ago I went with a couple of the older boys out to the fields and helped plant crops. I was ridiculously slow but they were nice about it and pretended like I was helping a lot. It's funny, I think everyone here thinks white people are really weak and delicate because they kept asking me if I was tired, or needed a break, or a drink or anything, and then sounded really surprised when I said I was fine. Also, I never have to carry anything here, someone always takes it and carries it for me.

Someone offered to take me and Kelsey and Anna to see a forest so, naturally, we said sure and went along. Never having seen a forest around Yako, I figured they were just talking about some woods, but oh no. Several miles later, walking of course, we arrived at an actual forest with an ever increasing gaggle of kids. It took all morning to get there and I got a pretty nice sunburn, but not everyone can say that they've walked through a forest in Africa and now I can.

Other than that, life's gone on same as always here. There are now seven girls in the house since Becky, Maria, and Rachel arrived yesterday. Somebody said Yako's turning into an American city since there are now almost 10 white people out of the 12,000 that live here. Which, by the way, I counted and in one trip to the store and back I heard "Nasara boom boom!" 36 times. No lie. Good old Yako.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Sometimes I can’t believe I’ve already been here two weeks and other times I can’t believe it’s only been two weeks. So much has happened in just two weeks, it seems weird to think I still have another five weeks here. Things I’ve noticed or find interesting about Burkina:
  1. The water here is bought in bags, not bottles. I thought that was really funny.
  2. It’s perfectly normal to see cows, goats, chickens, donkeys, and sheep in the middle of the road. And the animals aren’t pinned up, but are allowed to just wander so they’re pretty much everywhere.
  3. You greet everyone, if you know them or not. And as soon as someone shakes someone else’s hand, everyone is shaking everyone’s hand. There are no strangers in Africa.
  4. The rules of driving basically consist of whoever’s biggest gets the right away. If you are in a car and want to turn and a truck is coming, you wait. But, if it’s just motos coming then you go and expect them to dodge you or stop.
Thursday we went to one of the villages for a medical clinic that the team here does once a week. We were in a small straw shelter and there was a crowd of people waiting to be checked by the nurse. She would learn about their symptoms, do a short check up or tests if they’re needed, and then give them the necessary medicine. If not for this clinic, none of these children would probably get medical attention. It seemed like most of the illnesses were caused by poor living conditions (infections from sleeping on the floor, malaria, malnutrition).
Friday we went to Ouagadougou to pick up a girl from Virginia who was arriving Saturday and will be staying with us the whole rest of the time we’re here. We came a day early to go to a Fourth of July party being held by the US ambassador in Burkina. It was very different from any Fourth of July party I’ve been to before. Classy elevator music played in the background while servers with red, white and blue striped hats would walk around with platters of hotdogs, chicken, eggrolls, etc. It was really funny to see the Burkinabe caterers wearing American flags on their vests and hats. It was definitely the most formal Fourth of July party I’ve ever been to. I had a nice time, but it really made me miss barbecue, Frisbee, and fireworks.
It was weird seeing so many white people at the party. In Ouaga, there’s a fair amount of diversity but in Yako you stand out a lot. I’ve gotten used to hearing “nasara boom-boom!” yelled everywhere I go from kids. Translation: “white person! candy!” My goal by the end of the week is to get the kids at the orphanage to call me Becca instead of nasara. They all know my and Kelsey’s names but whenever they talk about us they still call us nasara.
Sorry this post is so random. Oh well, I miss you all. Hope you have a lovely day!