Burkina Faso :: Part III

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 Burkina Faso Part I and Part II

Our last week in Ougadougou (capital city of Burkina Faso) was a jumble of activity.  We did a lot of things, but here were a couple of the bigger things:

We got to join some students at a local university for a bible study.  It was interesting to meet some people close to our age and get a look at how their bible studies compare to ours.  They spoke in French mostly, so I didn't catch everything, but I got the gist of it.
Universitie students
I got to express my artsy side by painting a mural in the office room of a school.  Our team collaborated the night before and settled on painting a vine and having the fruits of the spirt (Galatians 5:22-23) written in both English and French.  Before we left for the school, we were surprised by Benoit, my friend from camp, and his brother Elvis.  They joined us for the day of painting.
the group in front of the mural
There weren't a lot of paint supply options at our disposal so we had to get creative with what we had.  We used two colors of paint (oil so it got kind of messy), and some larger paint brushes.  We also made some stencils out of paper for the fruit and leaves.  To paint the words, we just used our fingers.

We took a small overnight trip to another city named Kaya.  It was a little more rural than Ouagadougou, but still a little developed.  We visited an orphanage that mostly housed younger kids.  The orphanage also had a program where people in the area would bring their kids to make sure that they are getting the right nutrition.  During our trip, we also spent some time shopping at the local leather market and visited with Joseph (our host for the entire Burkina Faso trip) and his family.
feeding time at the orphanage
On top of visiting the leather market in Kaya (I got a couple leather wallets), we got to visit an artist's market.  There were lots of things to look at and it was neat seeing the art from another country.  There were instruments, masks, tapestries, jewelry, woodwork, etc.  I got a couple tapestries.

Our team also explored the neighborhood near our hostel for some additional souvenirs.  I was able to get a mask, some different patterned fabric, a couple soccer jerseys, and a woven bag.  The sellers enjoyed bartering and was expected.  That was one of the hardest parts of shopping (even though I love a good deal) because the original price was already very reasonable and I would have been happy to buy at that price.

Saying Good Bye:
We were surprised with a going away party.  All of the Navigateurs leaders got together and we had pop and talked about our experience.  They presented us with some gifts.  I received some fabric (probably 5 yards) and a small tapestry.  We said our good byes and headed back to our hostel to get all of our stuff ready to leave.
the going away party
Our team had a couple days layover in Paris so we got to spend a little more time together reflecting on our trip just the five of us before we went our separate ways.  I still email with some teammates and people I met on the trip and think of the trip often.  I like having little souvenirs and pictures from the trip around the house so I am frequently reminded of my time in Africa and the people I met there.

Be careful and watch yourself closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen 
or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. 
[Deuteronomy 4:9]


  1. Was Kaya where you got all that fabric that you've been using?

    I HATE bartering. I'm terrible at it!

    1. I actually got the fabric a block away from where we were staying most of the time. And then I was gifted some fabric. I still have quite a bit that I've been sitting on waiting for something to do with it.

      Since I'm not very good at speaking French conversationally so I had someone help me with the bartering.


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