Monday, 19 May 2014

"Ohhh, we're halway there!"


As we enter into our 6th week of working and pass the halfway point of the placement with Handicap Solidaire Burkina (HSB), we British volunteers took the chance to reflect on our experience so far. Being in a new country, experiencing a new culture and meeting lots of new people has given us plenty to think about!

The national volunteers have also had the opportunity to find out more about British culture. The experience has been enjoyable for all - with the added benefit of cultural exchange!
HSB and ICS volunteers at a neighbour's wedding

The English lessons, whereby UK and national volunteers take part in group discussions with HSB staff, are a great way to improve our language skills at the same time as providing us with the opportunity to get to know one another on a more personal basis. Sharing insights into each other’s family lives has brought up interesting comparisons between family structures in Burkina Faso and in the UK.

For example, families are often a lot larger with more children in Burkina Faso compared to in the UK. Additionally, families often live close together in the same community in Burkina Faso which is different to the UK in that families often live in different communities.

We have also had the opportunity to experience cultural traditions first hand as we were invited to attend a baptism, a wedding and two funerals. These occasions are often treated as celebrations with the family and local community coming together to take part.
Gathering for a funeral celebration

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