23 September 2014

Back-to-School (Back to Blogging)

Hello Mama Congo readers. We know. It's been a while. Who knew switching careers and countries would take up so much of our time? Funny that.

Jill and I would like to mark our semi-settlement in our new lives with a comparative look at back-to-school in New York City and in the New York City of Africa - Ouagadougou. (Ha!)

Our back to school journey in Ouaga began by translating and deciphering the school supply list. (Not all that different from the girls' crazy supply list in Congo. Remember that?) Here in Ouaga we just handed it over to the neighborhood Papeterie guy and he picked everything out for us.

Feigning excitement over pink notebook protectors. 

Les listes.

No need to go behind the counter. Mr. Papeterie is full service. 

Each day before school Mamadou (our house-helper extraordinaire) delivers the fresh, morning baguette. I consider my greatest accomplishment in Burkina thus far to be never trying the morning baguette.  I once tried stale, evening baguette, which confirmed my suspicion that one bite of fresh baguette would be my gateway drug to a habit of 5 whole loaves a day.

Best torn. Not sliced. 

Some time during breakfast, Anastasie, our new nanny arrives.

A note about Anastasie: Although she is our new "Mama" so to speak, mentions and memories of Mamicho and Mama Youyou bubble up each day. More often than not, those are accompanied by sentimental tears - on my part, but I run away and hide before anyone notices. Because the key to successful transitioning is hiding emotion, right?

After breakfast, the girls travel just a few blocks on a mostly washed out dirt road to maternelle.

Charlotte's teacher, who speaks beautiful French and makes fun of Adam's. Love her already.

This is the look of discovering we have bought the wrong-sized notebook. 1/2 inch too narrow.
Back to the Papeterie we go. 

After sorting the rejected school supplies from the approved ones, Adam and I waited around until the girls felt comfortable. They never got comfortable, so we left and they wailed. Charlotte tried to hold back her tears, but then made a last minute decision to run screaming for the door. Luckily her teacher clotheslined her and snatched her up. Good work teacher. It'll be a great year.

Per Loulou's request, a close-up of Char. (Taken before her tragic abandonment at school.) 

Stay tuned for a look at Jill's back-to-school routine in NYC. Which is sure to include better roads, but the jury's still out on their baguette.

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