Sunday, June 05, 2005

address not going crazy and crazy conversations

Tyler Ruthven
CEG de Kompienga
BP 05, Pama
Province de la Kompienga
Burkina Faso, West Africa

Phone number – 40 77 65 16

Alright, theres my address and the telecenter where I can receive calls. I recommend a phone card, as you don’t want a 300 dollar bill like my parents received. And learn French. It comes in handy. Here are some phrases you can use

Est-ce que vous pouvez trouvez le blanc/ l’americain/ le volontaire du corps de la paix/ tyler Ruthven. S’il vous plait. Je veux parler avec lui.

Je veux parler avec l’americain s’il vous plait

After that, they will probably tell you to call back in fifteen to thirty minutes and then they will come and find me.
Consult your local french speaker for some more useful phrases.

As for letters or packages – I appreciate books (for a few I like, try Man and Superman by george Bernard shaw or The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat or any Vonnegut book or any Phillip K Dick book except for Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and the Man in the High Castle. Also, books on science, particularly books by Richard Dawkins or books on History and World Affairs, or just cheap thriller fiction books, I will probably read anything right now). I also like sports articles, especially about the cardinals (I just bought a used cardinals shirt today in fada for a dollar) or the saints, but again, I will probably read anything. I also appreciate non sporting newspaper articles and magazines. Other good ideas, sauce packets, beef jerky, pretty much anything. And of course, letters in general. Anyways, I would be very happy to hear from anyone at all, and it costs less than a dollar to send me a letter.

If you desire to send humanitarian goods to help the needy Africans here, I must advise that you wait for now. I am going to be here for 2 years so theres no need to rush right now. And besides, we don’t know exactly what they need right now. There is a chance that in the future I will be soliciting donations to help build a new set of classrooms for the school here, but that will be quite a bit in the future. So wait for now, but don’t forget. Your time will come. Thanks.

In other news, I’m going to be spending the next few months trying not to go crazy because I basically have nothing to do but try and integrate into the community. There’s also a chance that school will get cancelled until after the elections in November which would give me even more time to not go crazy. Here are my ideas so far – learn how to cook, learn biology (that one’s especially important since I’m going to be teaching biology), swim, learn how to make a mango smoothie, learn moore, learn to speak French good, try not to forget how to speak English properly, find some village friends, read, swim, take apart bike and put it back together again, dispose of leftover parts, paint incredibly complex MC Escher paintings on my walls, paint over horrible depictions of MC Escher paintings on my walls, continue to not go crazy, get clothes made, climb the mountains around kompienga, befriend the monkey’s on the mountains, clean monkey feces from clothes (they like to throw that type of thing, or so I’ve heard), don’t get sick, go biking, visit town bigwigs, go to fada, have a pool party, and relax.

If you have some more ideas, let me know. I was going to write more about the swearing in ceremony, but there’s really not that much more to say. I’ll just recount this conversation I had with the bartender at the party on top the peace corps office later that night. I was not feeling well and as such was not drinking but searching for some water. Me – I’d like some water – Him – Beer? – Me – Water – Him – Fanta? – Me – Water – Him – Beer? I left after that. It was strangely similar to a conversation another volunteer – faux josh – had with a server in Yako . Josh – I’ll have a Fanta – Server – We don’t have fanta – J – What do you have – S – We have Fanta – J – Ok, I’ll have a fanta – S – We don’t have fanta. These things happen all the time here apparently.

Anyways, wish me luck in Kompienga. But save your prayers for the other volunteers. I hit the jackpot. Later.


Blogger The Rambling Man said...

hey Tyler check out my blog at, you can even link to it if you edit your Template. Big ups on the peace corps thing, keep on keepin' on.

-Jonathan Stroud, currently in South Africa

6:01 AM  
Blogger Arkansas's Swiss Family Imholz said...

Tyler, it's as if you have been transported to a different world. Thanks for letting us walk in your shoes through your blog. I read this one on Oct. 19th, 2005.

8:50 AM  

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