"For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God." (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Of Circumcision Parties and Agriculture

I'm totally not in the mood to write anything tonight, so I'll let the pictures/captions do the talking. I had a bunch of thoughts I wanted to share, but maybe some other time! Until then, enjoy the pics.
Friday I went to my friend Anna's house to take pictures of the party she was throwing to celebrate her son's circumcision (don't worry, the circumcision took place 3 or 4 weeks prior to the party, not while I was there; this was just to celebrate that he had left boyhood behind him and is now a man). I had been to Anna's house one other time a couple of years ago (incidentally, it was for another son's circumcision party as well), so I thought I could remember how to get there. Unfortunately, I hadn't counted on how the tall corn and millet would block my view of the landscape and get me turned around. So I wandered the fields a bit before some very amused ladies headed out to work in their fields set me on the right path. So, I title this blog "Of circumcision parties and agriculture" because I had fun taking pictures during my longer-than-anticipated-but-still-picturesque walk through the fields of Mahadaga.
[caption id="attachment_773" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="No road signs and only fields and trees for miles around can make it kinda easy to get lost once you\'re a few feet off the main road."][/caption][caption id="attachment_772" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Millet and sorghum (which they also call millet here) are the main crops grown in Burkina Faso. With harvest close at hand, there are fields upon fields of these tall stalks all around Mahadaga. Taking a walk through the fields is like having our own version of a corn maze!"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_766" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Sorghum millet that will soon be ready to harvest. The darker colored stalk is ripe, while the lighter-colored stalk still has a bit of maturing to do."][/caption][caption id="attachment_762" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Navy beans or black-eyed peas (I\'m not sure which they are, but they\'re a variety of white bean) are another common crop here in Burkina."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_763" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Picture of a field of cotton that is just about ready for harvest."][/caption][caption id="attachment_764" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="A closed pod of cotton in the foreground and an open pod of cotton in the background."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_777" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="A closer picture of ready-to-pick cotton while still on the plant."][/caption][caption id="attachment_780" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Mahadaga is too remote to have the privilege of access to imported goods, so the people here do their best growing what variety of food they can. This is a variety of squash that is popular for use in sauce and stews. I use it as a substitute pumpkin."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_771" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Harvest is almost upon us and all kinds of produce is starting to show up at market and around town, such as sugar cane, a variety of eggplant, and hot peppers."][/caption][caption id="attachment_775" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="A lot of the produce and grains grown here are laid out to dry so that it can be stored away for use later on once the rains have stopped and the crops are no longer yielding fruit."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_778" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Anna\'s 6th child, Etienne, poses with his older brother, Tajua. He\'s dressed in traditional circumcision ceremonial costume. Don\'t worry...this is weeks after the actual circumcision took place!"][/caption][caption id="attachment_770" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Like any mother on a child\'s special day, Anna was kept busy running around the compound serving all the guests who\'d come to congratulate her son."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_769" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Lunch: rice toh (a pasty mush made out of rice) steeped in a meat sauce with a piece or two of chicken on the side."][/caption][caption id="attachment_761" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="This is Anna\'s kitchen."][/caption]
A few other random pictures from this past week.
[caption id="attachment_776" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="(Left to Right) Buama, Anna and Alice are three of my closest friends in Mahadaga."][/caption][caption id="attachment_774" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="A Sunday afternoon visit with the Ouoba family and a chance to meet their newest son. Yentema (father) is the chaplain at the SIM medical dispensary in Mahadaga and Louise is in charge of the artisan program at the Centre for the Advancement of the Handicapped."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_767" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Captain Caleb poses on his pirate ship."][/caption][caption id="attachment_768" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="First Mate Joel is new to the pirate scene."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_779" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Caleb walking to the French preschool located next to the SIM mission station where we live."][/caption][caption id="attachment_765" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="As promised, a picture of our kitchen addition with the tin roof on it. If all goes well, we\'ll get the glass for our windows next weekend and work on the addition can re-commence."][/caption]
Until next time, may you always find something beautiful and learn something new in the detours life may throw your way!


  1. Anna's kitchen really humbled me. I couldn't imagine. Thanks for the pics!

  2. Thanks for sharing about your day and friends. I have never been to Africa, so I enjoy reading your blog(s).- Les, friend of Liz from Messiah College.

  3. Oh man... this brings back rather weird/interesting/scary memories of Mahadaga. Got chased by the traditional boys... eeek.

    Love reading your blog!! Blessings to you guys!!

    Missing Burkina a lot! Dave and I are hoping to come back within the next year or so :) (just for a short visit for now)

    Love to you all,

  4. I love the pictures. Thank you for sharing them, that give us a better idea of the people you are surrended with and the kind of things you especially the pirate outfits, they are cute!
    I'll write a little more some other time,

  5. Loved the pictures! some of them reminded me of Nicaragua and I felt a bit homesick, but all in good time! I'm glad you were able to make your way to the party and some women were able to help you out...we often get lost in Nicaragua and we've gotten used to asking people for directions. Such is life :)