Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Week 4 - One wedding and no funerals (but Serge's dog did die) ...

Having now spent a full month in wonderful Burkina, we thought it might be appropriate to hand over the reins to William and Serge for this week’s blog post.

Hi, Morning! We are going to talk to you about differences between international and local volunteers or between Africa and Europe if you want. We can begin with our differences in clothing. Local volunteers prefer clothes of smart fabrics with long trousers, and UK volunteers prefer light clothes such as tee shirts and shorts. They also like to swim, unlike the local volunteers. We also don’t have the same ways of doing many things like eating for example. They all like eating riz gras, salad and pizza to name but a few. In Africa we like to eat with hands whereas UK volunteers prefer spoons and forks and knifes. In addition, African love eating as much as possible, and it is not the case with the British. In IT, they are very speedy on their keyboards, which means they use them a lot. In Africa, IT is not among our habits, we use it from time to time.

The most important difference concerns our culture, but it is an advantage for the both parties (national and UK volunteers) because of everything we are learning from each other. We think that our differences are not a problem but a source of richness and learning. By sharing our experiences, we improve the level of our English. It is true we have been studying English for 8 or 9 years, but when we first spoke with UK volunteers, we noticed big differences, in the style of speaking, the way of writing, the way of pronouncing the words, the rapidity of the speech and so on. With time however, we have learnt to understand better what they’re saying. It is a very exciting experience to learn English with them. We also teach them how to speak French and Moore, a local language in Burkina. But they have not all got the same level in French, for some of them have already visited some French cities like Paris. We also exchange about their way of behaving, the snow, their education, sport.

When it is too hot, they have been suffering with the burning of the sun. We hope the heat will diminish in order to allow them to have a good stay in Burkina.

We sometimes have lunch together with the UK volunteers at their home, we compare our way of cooking to their own and it’s amusing. During the training, we played a football match, and we have been discussing about the way to play again a match between England and Burkina.

On the weekend, the UK volunteers went to Tenkodogo, one of the towns in Burkina Faso and its 200 km from Ouagadougou. They attended the wedding of our friend and colleague Biba, which united all the IS volunteers and we were all so happy. They had to wake at 3:00 am to get the bus which took 4 hours! They all had a wonderful time and wore special African clothes.

Thank you so much, we hope you have enjoyed reading our blog!

William and Serge

P.S.   R.I.P. Rex the dog, 2010 - 2014

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