クーデター未遂と退避未遂/ failed coup d'état and failed evacuation


At the end, the "Coup d'état was failed" then my "order of evacuation was failed" after 8 days of almost never being able to walk outside due to the restrictions decided by my organization. Now I feel that those 8 days of not knowing what was going to happen made me aware of the existence of many important things, ppl, and their and my own feelings.


Of course there were many times I felt bored or not want to do anything, or not want to meet anyone during my days in Diebougou but when I was first told that we are evacuating to Japan in a few days, I cried. What I imagined and missed so much already was the warm-family-gatherings at Kabore's. I was to come back here anyway but thinking not being able to come back for just some months simply made me very sad.


I've only called two ppl, Kabore and Brigite, to tell that I had to go back to Japan. They both cried and couldn't continue next words.


With Mayumi, the other volunteer at Diebougou, talked about our time home. We said "it was such a fun." I know what it has been for each of us should be really different. Diebougou for Mayumi, and for me should never be the same, but at that moment, surely we both pictured each one's family there and I felt we are sisters. 


One day prior to our first scheduled flight, the chief of the burkina office, Mr. Morishita has visited us in the dormitory. As telling his minds, that how much he wanted us to stay, he was almost crying. The fact that someone who is so passionate about our volunteering program is our chief at Burkina office, and that I could have known that made me a bit emotional, and proud.


We all 14 volunteers were locked in for a week, some days not even being able to go shop. Eating together, washing together and sleeping together. I thought I was gonna die from stress. I bet not being able to decide my own today following my will does no good on my health.


But as living together under such circumstances for a week, I got to know other volunteers well and felt some sense of team-ness here.


When I was told the cancellation of the order of evacuation, I was already way too tired from the constant change of plans. I didn't really get to feel happy about the final decision, rather I was just relieved that it's somehow over now.


I'm looking forward to going back more than ever. The whole thing was so tiresome, but this days made me realize how much I am loving there, and how much being loved. Overall, it was such a great experience that gave me lots of things.

How to make Attieke at Madame. Ouattara's. 社会科見学-オルタンスおばちゃんちでアッチェケ作り-

Get the maniocs at the market, then wash.

Peel, and chop.


Put them into the machine with water to have them ground. You need a mask to protect yourself from the smogs (if no machine do all this by hands.)


Stir with hands.


Drain off the water.


Mix with prepared fermented ground maniocs.


And Palm oil.


Cover tight with plastics, leave them under the shades for a half day.


Check if well fermented, then put into a bag tie tight.


Leave there to have the water almost completely drained. (If no machine, use stones)










Put oil and salt then eat.






You find Kabore's baby Safiata in everyone's arms. Except that it's her mom who feeds her, she is everywhere being taken care of by everybody including other kids from neighbors. But this isn't a special case only for her, but this is how babies are often treated here in this community. Maybe it's how it used to be in Japan, too. A mom would never hesitate to have her kids to be taken care of by others, maybe because that's how everyone has grown up. Being loved by everyone, and raised with everyone.




I hear often in Japan people saying that now many don't even know the names of one's neighbors, and I'm one of the many. I don't know the people who are next to our house in Tokyo. Even in NY, I didn't even bother to go greet them. Here, neighbor come and stay as if is a family member, eat, talk, take care of kids, and it feels we all are just living together.




Me, who has always been okay not knowing the neighbors sometimes feel "so what? I need my own time." Haha, but at the end of the day, I am appreciating the way here, and finding it great. And start dreaming if I would ever be able to raise my kids in such environments, how wonderful it would be.


my ordinary life

From a volunteer living in Dominican Republic, I was asked to gather some funny or surprising stories about Burkina Faso from other japanese volunteers, as she wants to make a book with lots of stories about many countries. She says some stories that are of different point of views from that of tourists. As the book targets japanese reader, I'm thinking that the number of japanese volunteers should go beyond the number of Japanese tourists in this country. I'd be personally more interested in hearing from touristic point of view if possible. Thought I write blog, I mainly write about my daily feelings, readers of my blog wouldn't really get any idea about how Burkina Faso may be. Well, I don't write much descriptions on purpose as I don't believe that my writing is capable of delivering the reality of this great land, and what I can be sure is always my feelings only. But anyway, I'm going to see if I can find any stories.


Saying "kwa kwa kwa" for knocking on the door

Using masks, which look like eye-masks.

All kinds of fishes are known as "fish" no one knows or cares their kinds.

All the teas except green tea, are called "Lipton." Green teas are called "Chinese tea."

Have good eyesights. Glasses are for show.

Noon to 3 pm is the lunch break. Go home, eat, take a nap, wash ones body and then head to work again.

Before meeting people, wash ones body because meeting someone being stinky is impolite. In the hot season, get sweat and become stinky so easily, then one can happen to wash himself 3 or 4 times a day as long as there is water.

Dogs, pig, goats, donkeys, cows, chickens or guinea fowls are walking on the paved roads as if their yards. They come eat grass in my yard too.

Chickens are usually killed on the day they are to be eaten and we can through bones on the ground as they are to be eaten by dogs and cats. I've been asked if its true that in the world, 'packed meats' are sold in supermarkets.

For the most people fever equals to "Malaria." So many die from trying to cure themselves by taking medicines for Malaria when they actually suffer from other diseases like typhoid.

Funerals happen very often. Every week I hear someone going to someone's funeral.


Everything is something that is there in my everyday so naturally and is not funny neither surprising anymore but I listed things that I hadn't had in the places I have formally lived. All are the stories from Diebougou, I don't know other places. When it comes to Burkina Faso, I feel like there are so much unknown things to be delivered to the world before funny stories from foreigners' living experiences. In this flow of time that is very calmly passing by, shaking hands to greet each other, being called my name from almost every person who sees me, eating together from a same bowl, and sleeping properly but sometimes getting excited about the issues and discussing until they are being solved, and living to make the most of it. It's hard to describe how it's like living in this reality.


diary of this morning

Mornings in the rainy season can get really chilly in Diebougou. Waking up from a dream that everything what I wanted was there makes me feel a bit lonely once back to the reality. 
Maybe it's that the fact I'm too me now. I've been me since long time and am ok with not being able to really share me, not having a person who'd be able to completely understand me, not being able to affirm my rightness just because I find many who think exact the same (because I don't). but now it's getting a bit extreme, maybe. Maybe I should really go back to ny at the end. To my place of internationalism. The place everyone is sick and crazy, and free. I don't want anyone categorizing me or telling the way should be regarding to whatever I seem belonging to. I want them to realize that I do not belong anywhere, I don't have to. I'm sick of hearing those categorizations regarding to the skin colors from both sides. It does feel safe maybe, to group them and say "see? That's why we are different. I don't need to understand you, I don't need to like you, because we ain't the same." don't they realize that there is no one who really is the same? I don't interfere with people, I don't care how ordinary or extraordinary you are so don't bother asking me whatever, to make sure that it's me who is the one insane, so you are safe.

I speak 4 languages. Because 3 are one of the major languages of the colonizations, are pretty useful in today's world. So I've experienced being in the cultures where I definitely don't seem belonging to, and have experienced being attached more to them than to the ones which seem my own. It's not just the feeling of liking them but more like finding my own self in them, my definite identities which seemed new, but the most true to me. But not to say that I belong there. I just feel the same sort of attachment for those places that are supposed to be my origin and for those not. The same can be said to every individual being I encounter in my life. Yes, I am happy to find out that someone I meet is from Colombia, but it isn't because I consider the nationality Colombian as something special, it's because she'd lived in the place where I love, and we have the loved place in common, and we share the language. Languages are like music instruments. You can still talk about the music without playing, but if both of you can play, you play, and feel something beyond the former communication, that feeling is like the culture in its language itself. 

Some would understand what I'm writing and others wouldn't. And that's absolutely okay. I feel like I keep saying the same thing for years. The feeling of "somewhat out of place" has grown to be an absolute truth in me. And I liked living in New York because many, in some way, belonged to one place of "not belonging anywhere." If you know already you don't belong anywhere, you'd never feel out of place because whatever the place doesn't have to exist since beginning.  



私の書いていることを理解する人もしない人もいるだろう。それで良い。同じことをもうずっと言い続けているような気がする。居心地の悪さ、は自身の中で真実に変わった。ニューヨークで暮らすのが好きだったその理由は、たくさんの人がある意味で同じところに属していた: 何処にも属さないというところに。もしすでにそこはだれの場所でもないのだと知っていれば、居心地の悪さなど感じない。そこは別にどんな場所であっても良いのだから。



After 7 weeks from the end of our festival, we finally got to have a meeting with the member of the committee of organization. As the meeting was set at 4pm, knowing that it would never start on time, I arrived at 3:50, 10 minutes prior to the time. I'm always the first one, but there are no worries because I know that they'll come.




I like waiting for them to arrive one by one, shaking hands with everyone, saying it's been such a long time we haven't seen each other (they say this even its just 2 days without seeing.)




At 4:30, I said " when we say meeting is at 4pm, people come at 5pm." Then they say " haha, it's Africa." 




It was really around 5pm we started our meeting with the arrival of beautiful Brigite. No one said sorry about being late but no one cared such things.




Once the meeting starts, people start to make serious faces as if being professional, as if there are lots of things to be discussed. Indeed, there really are, but it's funny how the mood changes.




I wasn't sure if people are still wanting to do the second edition or not. There were many conflicts and everyone was so tired afterwards. But once we got all together, sure I felt the family-ness within us, that the team was once again together, and it has certain feeling that of someone who have gone through some important time in life together. After all, I'm glad that we did it. And we still plan to do it again. Everyone was very serious, so we didn't stop talking after it got very dark. It ended with my own speech, saying that I'm always a foreigner here, but after the festival, I feel tho locals are more welcoming me, accepting me as someone who they share their life with, as a citizen of Diebougou, and that we, the members of the committee have become a big family of mine in Diebougou.




母の段ボール/ packages from mother


I remember well when I got the first package from my mother mailed from Japan. it was in NY, and I was 19. I opened up the box and found a big ash tray on the top. A mother mailing an ash tray from overseas to her daughter who was still under age. And in fact, there are ash trays in the States. That ash tray which seemed to be so useless ended up staying with me for such a long time, it was on the 5th year of my stay in NY when i moved out from our apartment in Harlem that I gave it away.



Yesterday, I got a package from mother. Without telling or asking me anything, all of the sudden the package was arrived and i got a phone call form the post office of Diebougou. 4 pairs of big black pants almost looking exactly the same (thought she's got them for her and were too small?), some shirts and underwares which certainly are not my type (for so many years i only buy underwares at Uniqlo or American Apparel), some weird instant foods (id wanted pasta ingredients), and japanese crackers which i never liked (she loves them).



Then there was a big package underneeth. They were all art supplies. So many supplies. So many. I felt, that she is the first supporter of mine since my birth, and would be the person id go to at the end as well. A  huge package from my mother made me a bit emotional.




wearing a shirt and a pair of pants mailed yesterday, at my work