Monday, November 8, 2010

9 + 1 = 10

Today is day 304. Only 2 months before I mark my 1 year anniversary in Burkina Faso.

I write to you again, from Ouagadougou. I am in a shit-hole of a hotel in the Cissin burrough, but at least the cost of it is being payed for by my NGO. They have asked me to come teach a couple of courses in I.T. I said yes, but in heinsight, I should have made my demands much more clear.

There is an A.C. unit in the room. Hurray. Except, it doesn`t actually cool the room, because if  you turn on the cooling features, the breaker jumps and everything in the room turns off. So, you can`t use the air-conditionning, you can only use the "fan" features. I tried to explain this to the Reception, but they think I am nuts. Apparently, it works, I just don`t know what I am talking about because I am a crazy Toubabou. Funny thing though, there is a switch on the unit and currently the indicator is pointing to "Fan". The other option is "Cool". But hey, it's not like I can read English. Maybe I am just confused.

So this morning I was up at 5am. The medication I am on right now is preventing me from sleeping. Yup. Thanks to the NGO`s incompetence, I am without asthma medication now for over 2 weeks, almost 3. The medication is specially ordered from Canada, and is sent by the Canadian arm of the NGO... but for some reason, the NGO here can`t get their act together and get the medication out of customs. In fact, they wont even answer my calls anymore. Meanwhile, I can`t breath. This is no joke. I am actually very concerned at this point. I have been working with the NGO in canada, and the head office in London. This weekend, I was in a critical stage and was considering requesting an emergency medical transport out of the Burkina. Well, thanks to the good Dr in Canada, who worked relentlessly to help me, and for some of the medical staff at the NGO also here from Canada, I was able to get my hands on some alternative drugs and relieve my symptoms enough to breath semi normally. However, my breathing is not normal yet, but thanks to the Cortecosteroids i am taking now, I am  doing mcuh better and improving everyday. So, thank you Prednisone! I can`t sleep, and I feel like punching someone, but at least I can breath.

I just got out of my not-shower. I am calling it my not-shower because there was no water this morning. I love  fucking Ouagadougou and their constant water cuts. And this is on the heals of the Rainy season, so I know there is lots of water left. fuckers. Pisses me off. There was watter at 5:30 am when i got up to pee... 6:15 am, no friggen watter. ARGH. I miss Bobo right now. But I smell nice. I just caked myself in deodorant. Trust me, with the heat and dust in this country, having a not-shower doesn`t do much to make you feel sexy.

Other than that, things are actually quite good. I met with my new colleagues last week, and upon  my return to Bobo I will begin my new mandate. I am hoping this will go better than the last time, it can`t be worse, thats for sure. I am sure I'll have more on that once I actually get a feel for the place.

But, in spite of all this crap, I am doing pretty good. I guess I am more or less accustomed to the way of doing things here now, because, I am not nearly as upset as I would have been at home. I know that the NGO`s staff think I am being overly sensitive and demanding. But, I gues, if they were the ones who couldn`t breath they might see things differently.  Oh, did I mention the guy who is responsible for getting my meds decided to go out of the country this week? Yay!

Oh well. Maybe when I get back to Canada I`ll write a tell-all book about  my experience as a Volunteer. There is a lot of stuff I cannot put on here. I hate the fact that I need to sensor myself, but if I speak my mind, they will retaliate. They are nothing here if not vindictive. Its not an overt vindictiveness, its very subtle... but they do get revenge.

So will I.

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