First of all bigups to Miss Mary G for the care package you sent. You blew my Mom's package out of the water. No offense Mom, but this is mainly because my Mom's package included things that are readily available anywhere in Burkina Faso. Like peanuts. I already opened the One Ups when I was really sick. And the cookies are fantabulous thank you for baking for me. That was definitely an all star care package. I told my mom you had surpassed her because she sent me safety pins among other things. No I'm serious. Love you Mommy.
Moving along. I went to Church with my host family today and it was almost like I walked into the past. I saw so many things that reminded me of a traditional black church in America, the connection was palpable. For starters, the service was extraordinarily long, three hours to be exact. The very large church was packed and half the people attending had to sit outside including us. At least one third of the service was filled with song and some dance. There was clapping to the music and the obligatory woman who gets really into it and sways back and forth with her arms in the air.
There wasn't the showing out that you see at some Baptist churches. You know the woman who falls out on the floor and yells 'Praise Him!' or 'He is worthy!' repeatedly. I think on our journey from West Africa we brought a lot of our traditions with us, but some of them have become exaggerated. For example, the bright colors remain in the church, but instead of bright headscarves there are bright, giant, showy hats. The girls still come in fresh plaits and their finest dresses. They're saying the some of the same things in the sermon. At least I think they are since the sermon was half French and half Moore. The music even has a similar rhythm to what you might hear in a Southern Baptist church it's the language that's different. When did Christianity come to West Africa? I have some research to do.
So I've arrived in my new host family. They're rich. Rich for here. At first I was a little dismayed by this since the whole point of the host family experience is to immerse yourself and prepare for what your life will be like at site. As a health volunteer, my life will almost certainly be the opposite of this (no running water or electricity). But my roommate Viola convinced me I'd have plenty of time to get used to that at site. I hope she's right. Viola's a retired account executive who worked in PR/Marketing for 30 years. She can't stand just playing golf so she joined the Peace Corps. I admire her. She's like a forward-thinking person who fears nothing. Well my time's running out now so tooodles!