All I really want to do is complain about the low-level security stance in Peace Corps known as Stand Fast that was appropriately implemented in late October during the Coup d’Etat in Ouaga, then dragged ridiculously and shamelessly on until this morning at 6 AM by an overly cautious Country Director who completely ignored volunteer morale and refused to acknowledge Burkina’s history-making, unprecedentedly peaceful Coup d’Etat. But I imagine if I started complaining it’d come across as petty, whiny run-on sentences, so I’ll stop myself there.

The hardest part of the Stand Fast was not being able to spend nights out of site. I love Founzan but being stuck there is not a great feeling; I leave site at least twice a month to visit friends and look at funny pictures of cats on the internet. So the helplessness of Stand Fast often dictated my mood of the day, and the Bureau’s inability to encourage or even communicate with the volunteer community on the matter led to one too many hammock days (days in which 4 hours or more are spent hiding from kids in the hammock behind my house). Sounds fun but gets old fast. Wait! Am I complaining again??

There were also many days in which I spent healthy amounts of time in a hammock. I’ve been going up to the dam 5km from town, fishing with kids and paddling around in the canoe I had made last Spring but never ever talk about because of how embarrassed I was of spending half a paycheck on a canoe I rarely used. But I use it now!f


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  1. OK – I’m going to say it again – and I know you’ve heard this many times…. I am frankly VERY thankful for the Stand Fast order because, while things are looking VERY hopeful for Burkina, this whole period has been a time of transition and history in some areas of Africa has shown that things can turn on a dime. I am grateful for the fact that the military successfully turned the government over to the civilian leader – and I think I may be totally digging your new Country Director. 🙂 Plus – those kids in Founzan need you. Thanks for the update. We are counting the days until Christmas and your arrival.

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