The Days of Awe have come and passed and holy cow it’s almost October already! The past two weeks I have been in the capital observing Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I had such a wonderful time and it was a joy and privilege to be able to daven with other Jews.
If you remember last year I got affectated (moved into my site) and then two days later it was Rosh Hashanah. I ended up praying in my house in the morning and then mingling with villagers in the afternoons. I didn’t have my shofar yet, but it arrived in time for Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur was also spent in my house on a plastic mat, I read “Catch Me if You Can” by Frank Abagnale, and broke my fast with Tô and sauce gumbo (slimy okra sauce)
This year I was able to spend it with members of senior management and other volunteers. September was a busy month for PC Burkina PCVs along with the Bike Tour and Science Camp so unfortunately not everyone was able to join us.
It was so wonderful participating in communal prayer. BF has no Chabad or Synagogues, and it is hard to find a quiet reflective space. Fortunately we were able to use one of senior management’s houses to eat and pray together. I had my shofar for Rosh Hashanah, and probably managed to freak out the neighbors once again. I had my parents send me Machzors from America because they are impossible to find in country. The PCVs were extraordinarily supportive and so were the office staff. I even got a nice text message from our Safety and Security Coordinator wishing me a Happy Rosh Hashanah.
On Yom Kippur I was able to do a total fast and was lucky enough to do it mostly in air conditioning at senior management’s house. We had a lovely break the fast dinner with spaghetti with meat sauce and leftover chicken. No sauce gumbo for me this year!
All in all I feel so blessed to have shared this experience with wonderful people and to have such a supportive staff here in country. Thank You!