Since the end of June I have been free and clear on summer vacation!
I’ve spent the vacation trying to occupy all this free time I’m not used to having and ending up doing a pretty great little project, and going on some awesome trips.
Sindou Peaks: The Peaks are a popular environmental tourism destination in Burkina. The rock formation is gorgeous and great for hiking.
The Ivory Coast aka Côte d’Ivoire: A group of us took the plunge and hopped the 36 hour train from Burkina Faso to the Coast for a little over a week.
After spending a couple relaxing days on the beach at Grand Bassam (where I rode a horse on the beach) we headed to Abidjan for a look at their numerous markets, the Grand Mosque, Banco National Park, the night life, and the mall.
Bike Tour: Once a year bike tour is organized here in Burkina to do some quick (but effective) lessons in different villages across the country.
Volunteers sign up to bike to other volunteers villages, in their region, to do a themed lesson with the community. This year, the lesson focused on gender equality.
In order to illustrate the importance of gender equality we performed a “gender relay.”
We first asked our participants, mostly young kids, which items we presented them are usually used by each gender in their culture. For example, a bucket to get water is usually used by a woman/girl, a box of tea is usually a mans/boys possession, and a hoe for farming is used by both men/boys and women/girls.
These items were split into two different piles and given to a team (5 each) of their gender assignment. Each person in the team was required to run to a stationary volunteer, while carrying their gendered items, then run back to their team and hand the items to the next person in line.
As expected, the boys (weighted down with only a hoe, keys to a motorcycle, and a box of tea) were able to complete the relay multiple times before the girls (weighted down with a bag of laundry, a fake baby on their backs, a bucket half full of water, and a hoe) were able to finish the relay once.
We then used this phenomenon as an example to explain how women/girls are often loaded with more responsibilities, especially around the home, and this fact makes it harder for them to gain free time to do other things. This can unfortunately include studying for school, thus causing more girls than boys to drop out prematurely.
After this explanation we redistributed the items. Giving the boys the baby, and giving the girls the keys , etc., and performed the relay again.
This time the girls were able to complete the relay faster than the boys, though this might partially be because the boys had no idea how to properly strap a fake baby onto their backs without dropping it- which everyone found hilarious!
We then explained that if boys and girls share chores then it is more likely that everyone will benefit because girls will have an increased chance to do other necessary things with their free time, like study.
Dubai: In the last few days of the summer I jet to Dubai to spend some time with my parents.
For 10 days we hopped around Dubai checking out the creek, the souk markets, different mosques, several malls, the top of the Burj Khalifa, and even took a safari ride in the desert.
Though I had a lovely summer vacation it is now time for school to get back under way.
Back to the classroom with me!