I went to another funeral this weekend, two actually. There is a reason they call the dry season, ‘Funeral season’. There are funerals every weekend, usually 3 or more in the same town.

For this funeral, I went to Bamena, which is about 20 minutes away, with Aladji. The funeral was for the daughter of a big notable, who I met the night before. They tell me he is over a 100, which is possible, but I don’t quite know. Since it was an important person, the chief of Bamena was there himself. Usually, for less important funerals, he’ll send one or all of his wives*.

The town of Bamena has never had a PC volunteer, so I was like a new toy for them. When I got there, they were all very nice, and happy to have me. One of the mothers there was really excited to have me there, and quickly introduced me to her three daughters that were present, which were 17, 17 and 14 years old. She said I could choose one and take her with me. I looked at the girls and they were all ok with it. She asked me to come outside, then sat me down in front of the three girls and said to get to know each other.

That was pretty awkward. I sat there and asked them about school and who knows what else. They said that mixed babies are really beautiful and maybe we should have some. They asked me when they could come over to visit. I told them whenever, but they would have to clear it with Aladji. I later told him that if they ever called, to tell them I’m not available.

Funerals are a great way of meeting people though. I made some great connections with the people of Bamena and of other towns around the area which I will hopefully be able to use. I think I agree with the Bamilike (The people of the western province). Enterrements or burials which is when they bury the dead, is the time for mourning. Later, a party is thrown in their honor to celebrate their life. What a way to go. I want people to have a big party in honor of my life when I’m gone.

Chiefs of villages are required to have multiple wives and as many kids as possible. The Chief of Bangou himself has 52 kids. When he mentions this, he always mentions that three of them died, but 52 remain.

The chief at a construction of a multimedia center that will train young Bangou