Feb 15, 2011

A Day in the Life

On my blog, I spent two years trying to describe and share my life in village. There is no denying that this year, living and working in Ouaga is completely different than my experience in PobĂ©. Yet I’ve realized that since I’ve been in Ouaga, I haven’t really written about a typical day here. What is it that Emilie is doing exactly in Ouaga? How does she spend her days? Where does she go? Who does she hang out with? Well my friends, you don’t have to torment yourselves with these burning questions any longer.

Welcome to “A Day in the Life : Emilie Crofton, special edition Ouagadougou”

I wake up in the morning in my comfy bed, wrapped up in my sheet like a sandwich roll because I’m ACTUALLY cold from the fan blowing on me all night (I love you electricity). I go to the boutique which is so perfectly located directly in front of the house. They know me so well that now their standard greeting to me is not "Ney y beogo" but "Fo data gela wana?" How many eggs do you want?  Because I always buy an absurd amount of eggs.

After breakfast I bike to work. Despite the short 7 minute commute I pray to the traffic gods that I won’t get hit by speeding drivers who clearly don’t respect any sort of traffic laws.
At the office, the chair in front of the FAVL computer has become my throne, where I pass endless hours typing (I know I know, welcome to the real world Emilie). Work includes anything from grant writing, fundraising, organizing events, improving contacts with local officials in Burkina, etc…

After work I usually head to the gym for an hour of aerobics. When I think of the fact that I used to be an athlete who’d train up to 3 hrs a day, this class is a joke. Yet I always leave tired and sweaty and continue to struggle lifting the damn wooden rod with what I swear are invisible weights. My college bball coach would be ashamed.

After the gym I stop to buy veggies from the women merchants set up along the road. Even after months of being in Ouaga, I can never get over that I can buy eggplant, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, green onions, potatoes, avocados, zucchini etc… and rarely ever spend more than $3. I may vary my veggie ladies but I always buy my fruit at the same stand, where Aminata always has fair prices often gives me a "cadeau."

On my way home I'll sometimes stop to visit Madina, who’s become a very good friend here in Burkina. She’s incredibly friendly, generous and a great businesswoman. During the day she runs a stand in the nearby market selling colorful “pagnes” and in the evening she sells “achieke”, a delicious dish made from cassava, originating from the Ivory Coast.

Madina and her beautiful pagnes by day...

Madina by night

Because I can never resit buying some of Madina's wonderful pagnes, every now and then I stop by to visit Pauline, a tailor I go to to have clothes made and who has become another good friend. Then its back home to whip up some dinner, get washed up and its off to bed, ready to begin another day.