Well, the marriage finally took place yesterday and tomorrow we are headed to Ghana.
After waiting the whole weekend to get the final paper signed, Souley and Lasso went Monday afternoon to get the paper only to discover that we had to meet the next day with the judge to explain why we did not want to wait the 30 days. So the next morning Souley and I had the interview and then left all the remaining paperwork with Lasso who ran around finalizing everything. Souley and I decided that we could not continue to stay in Koudougou with nothing to do until the following Saturday so we decided to head north to Dori which in a town in the Sahel to visit his nephew.
The nephew help Souley discover shea butter groups last summer when he was collecting samples and so it was good for me to get to talk to him and hear his reaction to the groups that he visited. All of the groups, including the one we visited in Reo, are very well organized and make "organic" shea butter.
Omar, the nephew, is one of the sweetest, most hostipable people that I have ever meet and we enjoyed the three days that we spent with him. He is a teacher in a small village near Dori. We went with hi one day to see his classes. There wasn't a whole lot of teaching going on but we had some good conversations about development and politics. Right before we were leaving to go back to dori a massive wind/dust storm hit. The Sahel looks a lot like Pecos and I naturally felt at home with the surroundings. However, nothing in my life has every prepared my for the dust storm. It lasted for probably an hour and a half and at the end of it I was covered with brown sand. I had to wear my sun glasses and cover my nose and mouth for the entire time. The wiond was so strong that it began lifting the tin roof off the building. It was actually really quite scared and now know what a tornado must be like. Aside from that we visited the biggest lake in the Sahel region and the sand dunes near Dori. The director of Omar's school was also extremely nice and feed us every meal and gave us fresh milk (straight from the cow) every day. He also but Souley and I a wedding present. We each got leather sandals that a really beautiful. The whole trip made me a little jealous of the volunteers who lived in the Sahel.
When we got back to Koudougou, everything was arranged. Our wedding was really small (we were 8 total). Unfortunately Julia had a conflict and couldn't make it. I was running late in the morning and so was more than a little frazzled. Our friend Lasso came to take me to the Hotel de ville where the state marriages take place. Unfortunately my skirt was so tight that I could not get on the back of the moto so I had to walk to the mayors office. It wasn't far but it was around noon and therefore the heat of the day. By the time I got there, my hair had curled again, all my make up was off, and I had huge sweat marks on the front of my dress. I picked some flowers from a bougavilla as a bouquet and Lasso helped my arrange them. We then sat at a table across from Lasso's brother, the mayor and the governor. The governor talked for about 45 minuted giving us his advice, etc (like he was a priest or something!). It was a very simple ceremony but sweet and the governor made a few jokes so it was pretty lighthearted. We then went to a nice European style restaurant and had a nice meal. The mayor even came (I assume because we were the last marriage of the day and probably having food from the nicest place).
Today we came to Ouaga to get ready for Ghana tomorrow. All and all things are going well and as scheduled, which is pretty rare here.
Oh, also two days ago we met with the Imam and the (oh gosh, I dont know the word in English) guy who makes the plows. He had them all done and the Imam took them back to the village. I have pictures and will try to remember to upload them next time.