Sometimes, living in Burkina Faso is about developing leadership in the hopes the work you do will lead to real change and an improvement in people’s lives.
Sometimes, it’s about a little kid pretending to be a martial arts master and falling on his face. (I didn’t film this: Rahim – the kid in the video, who is kind of like my nephew here – borrowed my camera, as he often does, to film himself and his friends… and this was the result they came running back to show me. I asked his permission before putting it online.)
Actually, the day before, something much funnier happened that I didn’t catch on camera. (Warning, keep reading and you will find out that I am actually a mean person.)
Rahim is pretty agile and does a lot of acrobatics, including cartwheel flips. His little cousin, Boulai, who is staying with the family without his parents for a few months, is about 3 years old and is… well, less agile, but he still tries to imitate Rahim. He usually just ends up looking kind of silly and doesn’t flip or anything. You should also know that Boulai is also a major, MAJOR cry-baby, and he drives everyone else nuts (I’m generally in “different culture acceptance mode”, so I tend to accept anything that happens as being just part of life, but the rest of the family is not always so tolerant.)
Anyway, the other night, Rahim was flipping around. Boulai apparently got in his head that the time for half-measures was over. With everyone already outside, without warning he came running out the door and tried to flip. He… did not succeed, and ended up face first on the floor. Evidently, he started crying.
I don’t know if it was the particular motion he made as he fell, or the fact that everyone saw it and immediately knew exactly when and how he would start crying, or if it was just some sort of vindication for the 1-month plus Boulai has spent torturing everyone with his unceasing cries for no reason, but there was just something magical about that moment. I know I shouldn’t have, but I honestly laughed so hard that I cried… and so did everyone else.
Don’t worry, Boulai was fine (well, as fine as he ever gets) — he didn’t really fall from very high. And I know, I’m an inhuman monster. But knowing is half the battle right?