Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My account of my problems with the lovely, yet still somehow vicious French language take a backseat today to other matters. We had a very busy weekend and I have gotten a number of emails (Well, three. But that seems like a lot to me.) asking what we were up to the last few days.
Saturday morning was spent sweltering in the outdoor theater at the French Cultural Center. The children at the French school put on a show there every year, show-casing all the activities of the “parascolaire”groups. There is ballet, hip-hop, theater, more hip hop, modern dance, still more hip hop, etc. Obviously, some of the groups don’t perform at the show. The pottery group, for example, contents itself with a displaying a few lopsided elephants over at the school.
The rehearsal in the morning was very long- from about 8am to 1pm.
Then we rushed home for lunch and I hurried over to Papiers du Sahel to pick up items for the big sale that afternoon. By 3:30, we were at the Etrier riding club, installing our display table. The project women sold paper during the annual equestrian show that is held there.
The children and I had to leave before the end, of course, as we had to get our performers dressed. Severin had to be dressed up as a lion for his theater piece and Valentine wore black for her hip hop dance number.
Severin's few lines of dialogue were a real highlight: "Who dares disturb my repose? The Sacred Bird has been disturbed and you shall pay dearly!" How cool is that?
Due to all the crazy lighting effects, I didn’t get one decent picture from the show. All I have is a single picture of Mallory that I took right afterwards. (Is she lovely, or what?)
The next morning we went to a good-bye brunch for some departing American friends, followed immediately by a First Communion party for the children of a Burkinabé pal.
The two parties were very different. A few points of comparison-
USA brunch:
1. Very casual dress
2. Limited guest list
3. Asked to bring a dish to share
4. Swimming for the kids
5. Only Burkinabé present were household staff serving at the party
6. No music

Burkinabé Party:
1. Dress in your best to show respect.
2. The whole neighborhood is invited! A party is for everybody!
3. No Burkinabé would EVER ask you to bring food to a party! It’s
unthinkable. The whole point of a party is that the hosts feed the guests. Distant relatives show up from the village, all looking forward to party food!
4. Parties are for adults, not kids. How kids keep amused is not the domain of grown-ups. How refreshing!
5. Plenty of Burkinabé, of course. We were the only white people in sight.
6. Extremely loud music played over the sound system rented for the event. It has to be VERY loud, otherwise you are not having fun!

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