Although it was started in the US, International Women's day was something I hardly knew existed, let alone celebrated until I arrived here. On March 8th, there was a regional celebration for the holiday in a neighboring village of Tiankora. My neighbor Hayley and I met another volunteer who did her service there (and is now doing a thrid year in another town) at her old host family's house. We eventually made our way to where the parade was being held and because Jen Used to live there (and sadly because we're white) we got front row seats for the whole event. After a series of admittedly boring speeches (by mostly men) in both French and the village's local languange of LObiri, there was traditional lobi dancing and a prade featuring a collection of women's groups from the surrounding area, and one seemingly random group of men. Afterward there was a reception and whil we had been invited (via Hayley's host family) to eat lunch at the mayor's house, we ended up going back to Jen's family's to eat with them. The daay was rounded off by a soccer game between Tiankora and a friend's village. The teams were both all male, and we didn't stick around to see who won. At the end of the day, I came to the conclusion that this was just another holiday for men during which the women do all he cooking and the men have all the fun (so much so that Hayley dubbed it 8 Mens). Of course I may be a little biased being both a female and a girls empowerment volunteer, but my suspicions were confirmed several weeks later, when sporting my women's day fabric, a male teacher asked what I did for "les hommes" that day to celebrate the holiday. Confusing and completely backwards I know. In talking with some female teachers from my primary school, we deciede we are going to plan a celebration next year that truly honors the women of my village, and not just by 'letting' them cook huge feast for their husbands.
On another completely unrelated not, some of you may have seen Burkina in the news lately (ok only if you're looking really hard). While I'm not really supposed to discuss the politics of the situation. I wanted to let everyone know that my little corner of the country has remained fairly calm. I feel 100% safe and the peace corps has been fairly up front with us concerning the current 'unrest' around the country. As of the posting of this entry, things are calm countrywide. And that's all I have to say about that.