So my mom is currently on an airplane, somewhere in the atmosphere over the Atlantic. I’m jumping around inside, in excitement. My mom happens to be the greatest travel buddy on this planet.
I have been trying to find out what good gifts are for my friends without asking them directly, that I can have cameled over in my moms duffle bag . If I ask directly, of course, the answer will be “Ipods all around!” I have found a few other ideas, and my mom is coming over with a goodie bag! I love my friends here so much, and thinking about them makes me want you all to know them too.
People at the Forge:
Omar: Loves sociology, and studying. if he had the opportunities that me and everyone in my economic group in America had, he would be a professor somewhere by now. He explains things clearly and knows about both current events and historical people that I definitely don’t know about. He takes night classes after sanding bronze all day. American place Omar wants to go- some university in Chicago that focuses on Sociology. American thing Omar wants: A copy book, with good paper.
Sada: The one person my age at the forge, Sada loves money, Rianna/ other cheesy music, and the idea of Las Vegas. He told me yesterday that if he had my ipod he would take everything I had off it except 2Pac and put on better music. Being the youngest, he works really hard doing all the little tasks, while serving tea and not getting the appreciation he deserves. Age is really really important here, trumping gender as far as respect goes, so its hard to give things to Sada. For example, if I buy food for people, everyone else gets it before him, even if he is the only person working for me, so if I want to give Sada a coca-cola, I need to buy 12, because there are always about 12 old doods sitting around not working and getting first dips on all things. American thing Sada wants: an SD card for his little mp3/ video player thing.
Baba- My sander. Baba is sweet and gentle. He likes peace and told me once he didn’t want to go to Las Vegas at all, if he could do something in America, he just wanted to swim in the Mississippi river, and see the forest. He is really interested in the native Americans and things related to them. Thing Baba wants in America- Native American things.
Isa- (“le bossman” on my telephone) Isa is a master bronze worker. I found his forge because he does amazing work. He does commissions for the government and the national museum from time to time. For all the little Spackles that me and Isa get into, I am really lucky to work with him. After my mom leaves, I am going to change the program a bit, and try to learn more about how to really run the forge myself, and build one myself. Isa is someone qualified to really show me everything. Thing Isa wants from the US: A set of pottery tools for his work.
Vivian: Vivian is my first and oldest friend in Ouagadougou. For the lack of resources he has, he is an incredibly talented and hard working painter. We critique each others work and he has connected me to the fine art community here, which is way more expansive than you would thing when you look at the shambled condition Ouaga is in as a city. Thing Vivian needs from the US- A gallery to represent him. Thing he wants- art books, movies, and paint.
Amedou: My Ngoni Professor. Amedou is a talented and skilled Griot. Actually he is really sick right now, and came to my house needing money to go to the doctor last night. I am worried about him, he seems to have lost 10 pounds in like three days. Going to check up on him today. Thing he needs in America: Someone to know how talented he is.