Burkina Faso 2009 :: Part I

Recently, I've been spending some time reflecting on some mission trips I've taken in the last 5-6 years.  Since these were very impactful points in my life and something I think about often, I thought I'd share some things from my trip in a little mini series.

See my story from my first mission trip to Nicaragua Part I and Part II

In 2009, I was finishing up my second year of college.  I just switched majors and felt lead to go on a mission trip with Navigators, the group I was involved with in college.  It took me a while to accept the idea, but I felt like the trip to Burkina Faso, Africa was the one for me.  I was having a hard time raising money and in no way could financially supplement part of the trip myself.  God really provided for me financially through some anonymous donors and the adventure began.

I met my team at the airport in Chicago.  I had emailed with the leader and one of the other team members, but otherwise they were complete strangers that I was going to spend the next month with.  What had I gotten myself into?!  We had a layover in Paris on the way there so we got to spend some time getting to know each other a little before we headed to Burkina Faso.

touristy stuff
The first couple days in Africa, we got to spend some time exploring the city and doing some of the 'touristy' stuff.  We went to Laongo, a sculpture garden where each stone sculpture had some pretty deep meanings.  We had a tour guide that showed us around and explained the meaning behind each piece.
lion at the zoo
My favorite touristy thing was the zoo, Zinaire.  It was so different from an American zoo.  The only thing that separated us from most of the animals was a chain link fence.  There was quite a bit of interaction with the animals; we got to scratch hyenas with sticks through the fence, hold mini turtles, and feed the gazelle and baby elephants.  There were also camels roaming around uncaged (I nearly got trampled) and some ostriches off in the distance.  It was a completely different zoo trip than I've ever experienced, but pretty awesome.
baby turtles at the zoo
We visited a Navigators clinic that is run by a missionary from Nigeria.  We got a tour, learned about the clinic's maternity ward expansion plans, and planted a couple trees.  One of my teammates is in the medical field so she shadowed a nurse and learned more about the clinic.  The boys in the group helped out with some manual labor.  I hung around with one of the other teammates and talked to the pharmacist and a couple of patients that were waiting.  It is always interesting to see the differences in the medical offices in other countries.
the clinic
eat and sleep:
throughout our stay, minus the camp, we stayed at a missionary hostel that was pretty nice.  We had twin beds with mosquito netting and a bathroom.  There was even the option of an air conditioner, but we never used it.
some of our group with our server
Most days, we ate at the ISO which had a pool, tennis courts, and a school in the same little compound.  The restaurant was kind of Americanized food.  We always had the same server, Anani, and he was very friendly, but it took us three weeks to build up the courage to ask him his name.  We also ate at a couple restaurants and had some more native food at the camp.  A majority of the time it was some type of rice dish.  Overall the food was good.  There were a couple dishes that didn't settle well, but I enjoyed most of the things we ate there.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh! I would have been so scared around the lions!


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