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Friday, January 24, 2014

The cultural side of things...and more


At the start of our second week in Burkina we thought we would update you on our transition into the Burkinabé lifestyle and what we’ve been getting up to alongside work.

 So far we have come across a few cultural differences at TN, including the morning greetings before any tasks are attempted: Shaking the hand of everyone you come across whilst causally asking a list of questions from “how did you sleep?” to “how is your family?” Whereas in the UK, a simple “how are you?” will do. African time-keeping is another thing we have had to adjust to, usually by adding half an hour onto any agreed meeting time.

Team Tiggy has been sharing Cefise House with the Inclusive Education Paralympic team which has led to some interesting experiences. We wouldn’t say that adjusting to the African lifestyle has been hard but there has been blood, sweat and tears. During our training week at the Palais de Jeunesse a lunchtime football match between the Burkinabé and British volunteers resulted in blood when multiple blisters were caused by barefooted playing. Things got hot in the kitchen on Thursday night due to our culinary efforts when Orla suffered third-degree chili burns to her hands (and eyebrow) whilst making pizzas. She was then ordered to run around our house fetching various ‘remedies’ such as piriton, germoline, ibuprofen, water, yoghurt, shampoo and olive oil. We’ll never know which it was that cured her of this most unfortunate affliction, but it was probably the piriton. Finally there have been many tears of laughter at the wealth of anecdotes told by our Paralympic housemate Mark. It was particularly funny to find out his preferred method of washing his clothes: standing in the shower fully dressed.

Tune in next week to find out how things are going here at Tiggy. Ni daray!

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