Nov 25, 2010


Like every other human being on this planet, there are days when I love and days when I hate my job. Tough days are when I wish I could be with people in village but instead spend hours in front of a computer screen, never stepping out of the office. Sometimes I wonder what I stayed in Burkina for; I could be doing the exact same thing, only in Americaland, and being PAID.
Luckily for me, the days when I think this are few. Overall, I'm thrilled with what I have been doing. My To Do list is never ending, but I like being busy: Grant writing, social networking, research studies, learning Adobe Illustrator and Photo Shop, event planning, organizing workshops, day-to-day management etc. All invaluable things that will help me no matter what career I choose in the future.

But with this particular job experience, there are certain perks that I know I am just damn lucky to have:

* In October my boss asked Charley and I if we could go help out two volunteer research assistants finish up some evaluations. We could help out and also visit the FAVL libraries. Where were these two volunteers and the FAVL libraries? Ghana!
Yup, the boss makes us go, all expenses paid, to Ghana. The horror!


working hard in Ghana

*Part of Charley and my work here is to get FAVL more exposure in Burkina: make more social connections/networking, branching out to other ngos, local government and expat communities. This led to FAVL being chosen as benefactors to a fundraising event called the Jungle Party. Basically its a party thrown in a park/forest in Ouaga with music and dancing, with all the money sold from raffle tickets going toward FAVL. It started at 9pm and lasted until 6 in the morning.

So, let's get this straight: Going to a party complete with music, dancing and alcohol; scmoozing with partygooers; staying out until 3 a.m. ...
and this is all technically "work."
Well allright!

*Most recently Ive been asked by Peace Corps to attend a PC Volunteer Conference : Best Practices from the Field. I will be making two presentations on promoting literacy and food security. This conference happens to be in SENEGAL! So on December 1st I get to fly down to Senegal for 5 days, all expenses paid. Pretty exciting!

So next time I'm brewing in my anger and resentment while staring at a boring computer screen....Ill just tell myself one word: SENEGAL!

Nov 8, 2010

An Official Ouagalaise

Since I am now Ouagalaise, as they say here, I've been living like a total city girl. I eat out several times a week, go to events like Waga Hip Hop and SIAO, regularly head out for drinks with friends, buy fabric material and have clothes made by my tailor, I even signed up at a local gym!

In other words.....Im broke!!

But how can I not be? This is Ouaga, the capital city! There are just too many fun  things to see and do....whats a girl to do?

                             At SIAO, Burkina's biennual arts and crafts fair

What's strange is that in the past couple months Ive done and spent money on things that I dont even necessarily like! Since September I have gone bowling FOUR times...which is probably more times than Ive gone in my entire life.

                      Charley and I (in one of my tailor-made dresses)

I grab celebrity magazines as if they're rare priceless jewlels, looking through them to find different styles of dresses or skirts that my new tailor friend can make me. In the States, I would rather have eaten a plate of maggots then step foot in anything related to a  shopping mall.
I've never been a beer drinker but apparently I am now. Every time I go out with friends I grab a beer...or two. And recenty Ive gotten into this habit of (warning to beer lovers: the following will make you cringe) mixing my beer with tonic or sprite to turn it into this cheap champagne-like concoction. while these past couple months of enjoying what Ouaga has to offer have been fun, I vow
to put an end to my frivolous and expensive ways. Emilie Crofton is now hereby
on a budget.
New rules: I can only spend 1,500 CFA ($3) a day on food and I can only drink beer (or my champagne brew) once a week...okay twice a week.

                     Contemplating my last beer (or two) for the week

Why dont I just stop spending money on new outfits and other unnecessary items, you may ask?
Baby steps steps

We will see how long I last