Well, I'm not dead. In fact, quite far from it - the past few weeks I've been living with my new Ivorian family in Korhogo and learning how to survive. Like any new friendship, it's awkward at first, but as I work alongside my new siblings, life is beginning its new rhythm. Each morning I wake up with the sun, wash last evening's dishes with my sister-in-law, pull water for my bath, eat breakfast with my host father, and greet my sisters before they leave for school. All before 8am. It's new. Last year I wouldn't have to hop out of bed until 9am.
Don't be deceived, it's not easy: adjusting to rice/sauce is difficult, independence is a daily battle and communication proves the biggest hurtle since my French is akin to a 4-year-old and Senoufo (my family's first language) is completely new. But all the frustration is worth the friendship, and the hourly grace my family grants me is humbling. I am a newborn in a 24 year old body. Patience and laughter are my weapons of choice - the most effective tool for a young woman whose catch phrase is "Je ne comprends pas...!"