2 minute read

So, reading is important.

It’s one of the reasons for my extension of service that I enunciated on the application.

Kids like it when I read. I butcher the Moore, but they still repeat most of the things I say and often get the general idea. They like looking at the pictures and talking about what the subjects are doing - I think that they enjoy it; it’s what they do at least.

I had wanted to create a “Big Book” describing the story of a girl who goes on an adventure to help her neighbor reclaim his chef’s hat from a monkey who’d taken it. The story was written and illustrated by Volunteers and Burkinabe in a prior effort to increase literacy and access to books. It’s part of a series of very simple books that Peace Corps Burkina Faso has printed and bound. Each story has several different language editions: English, French, Jula, and Moore. (It’s possible I’m leaving out Fulani but I can’t say for sure.)

I want to copy it.

Big books, in the style that I’d intended, are large-format books copied onto plastic rice sacks. Each page is one sack. The pages are sewn together and a seam is added across the top such that a rod can be passed through the top and the pages turned about the rod in the format of a gigantic reporter’s notebook.

I’ve wanted to make one for some time and had, over a period of two weeks, made a lot of progress. I’d selected a story I was going to transfer to large format. I’d collected a myriad of markers and rice sacks. I’d sat down to copy an illustration freehand.

My copy was awful. I wrote as much on the rice sack showing my attempt and stuck the page in a pile of collected sacks.

Eventually, many months later, after moving, taking vacations, doing nothing, and starting teaching; I took a small digital projector from the PC/BF office. I took pictures of the pages of the book I wanted to copy with the intention of projecting them onto a rice sack and then tracing the image. Then, I waited more months.

It’s been more than a year since I registered to recieve these PC edited books while we were consolidated during the coup.

Anyways, I’m going to finish it. The format transfer is not particularly interesting or engaging or easy. It might be very different than what I wanted or expected, but I’ll finish it. Just you wait.

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