Le Sable Ne Manque Pas
This week was spring break for the schools so some other Volunteers (Zach, Christina, and Diana) who are teachers came to my town to visit. While they were here we got to experience some true Gourmancie culture. Most cultures seem to have some form of fortune telling whether it is with cards, palms of the hands, or even crystal balls. Here in Gourma, my region of Burkina Faso, they read the sand to try to predict the future. The idea is that the sand is from the Earth so the sand readers use it to talk to the Earth to get advice or to know what will come to be. Many important leaders and even government ministers look to the sand for advice on tough decisions. I have never had my fortune read in any fashion before and it is a great cultural experience for people visiting so we searched and found a sand reader to tell us the future. The four of us sat on mats around the sand reader and his pile of sand. One of us would touch the sand and think of a question “in our hearts”. The sand reader then made four rows of 10 dashes and some other symbols in the sand and then asked for your question. He made a few more symbols and actually talked to the sand before giving that person a summary of what he was told by the “sable”. The answers sometimes digressed a little from the questions based on what he read in the sand. I am going to document my questions and the responses here in this blog so we can see how accurate the sand really is in telling fortunes:
Question 1: What can you tell me about my future wife?
Answer 1: Apparently, my wife is living in this world but I have not yet met her, nor will I meet her for at least another 10 months (maybe longer). I will meet her on a Saturday. We will work together and I will be happy with my job and eventually make a good amount of money. My mother will be very happy.
Question 2: What will I do after my service here?
Answer 2: While here, I will meet a woman in 2 or 3 months from now and work closely with her around my town until the end of my 2 years. After my time here, I will return to my country for work.
Apparently, the sand gives you a path and then there are things you can do to change that path. According to our sand reader though, “Le sable ne manque pas” (the sand does not miss). I guess we will see if he is right.