This site is a collection of photos, information, and essays about Burkina Faso, West Africa and my Peace Corps service there as a secondary mathematics teacher from 1999 to 2001. There is a lot of information in these pages, so you might want to read through this home page (and maybe the About Burkina Faso page) to get an overview before you start looking for specific information or photos. If you are looking for a particular person, village or topic, look at the Table of Contents (Site Map).
*This site is maintained periodically, but it has not been, and will not be, regularly updated, as it reflects only my experiences from 1999 through 2001.*
After many years as a mathematics
educator, I decided to pursue a challenge that
percolating in my mind since college, by joining the Peace Corps after my daughters were
grown. I went to Africa equipped with technology and a lot of ideas about
how mathematics should be taught based on 30 years of work in Texas and the rest of the
United States. But teaching in Burkina Faso was a whole other reality. Truly an
About the Site...
As an educator and a parent, I intend this site to be a kid-safe and family-friendly source of information about people, places, and positive (yet challenging) experiences. Every now and then you will find a math problem or some science facts, as well as lots of geography and social studies information about a country very few people know, especially on the About Burkina Faso page and the related Student Activities page. Unfortunately, this site cannot capture the diversity of the entire country of Burkina Faso, and it is filtered by my own philosophy and the limitations of my experiences from 1999-2001. But I hope the site can give you a taste of this country that maybe one day you can visit yourself!
I have made every effort to ensure that there are no inappropriate links from these pages. However, I must include a disclaimer that I cannot guarantee the accuracy or value of any site listed. Rather, I have tried to provide sources of information that seemed interesting, valuable and appropriate, to the best of my ability.
Teachers (of French, mathematics, science, social studies, or others), go to the information page for some activities for your students.
Wherever you see an underlined word or phrase in color, it is a link to another location, either on this website or somewhere else on the Internet. Some of these pages have digital photos that may take a while to load, depending on your computer and Internet connection. I have used thumbnails (a small photo with a colored border like the one below) wherever possible. If you see a thumbnail, you can click directly on it to see the larger photo. Try it on the thumbnail below. Have fun!
In many ways, Burkina Faso is a simple land, slowly moving towards development through the efforts of hard-working and good-spirited people. But it is also a land of complex issues, both political and social. Burkina Faso faces many of the same health, economic, climate, education, social, political and development challenges as other countries in West Africa. Burkina Faso deals with periodic drought and famine, a variety of health problems, a lack of material resources, extreme poverty and severe illiteracy, to name a few. This site does not deal with many of these issues or with the whole arena of human rights. One source for information about a wide range of social, political and human rights issues from a U.S. government perspective is a site maintained by the U.S. State Department. Or check current news and social/human rights issues in Burkina Faso at the Washington Post's website. For other perspectives, consider doing an Internet search (I suggest using a meta-search engine such as www.dogpile.com or www.google.com). You might search not only for Burkina Faso, but also for President Blaise Compaoré, former president Thomas Sankara, or for particular issues such as AIDS (SIDA in French), population control, water, etc.
Let me know your impressions of, or suggestions for, this site, or if any links are outdated or inappropriate. Please note that this site may not be frequently updated after Spring 2002.
Send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated on October 28, 2002 .