First let me give you some news about Hortense. On Monday she had another ultrasound done, in which they found pus right under the liver. Decision was made for surgery on Tuesday for peritonitis. The operation lasted more than 4 hours. A liter of pus was taken out, the appendix was hidden right under the liver. Hortense is now still recuperating in the clinic. She started to eat again on Friday. Eugénie is still worried since pus is still coming out of the drain she has. We will keep you informed.

Because of the situation with Hortense, Eugénie did not go toOuagadougouwith Barbara, instead I went. We spent Thursday and Friday going around visiting the bronze artists to introduce Barbara.Ouagadougouis a very busy town compared Bobo Dioulasso. It is not my favorite place. Barbara can now put a face behind the names of the artists from whom we buy statues for Burkin’art.

On Monday we went to map the ground given to us by thevillageofOualanafor thePrivateAgriculturalSecondary School. It is more than 30 Ha and we only made a quick evaluation of the quality of the ground.  Karim (working for ASAP for framers projects) is a soil specialist and helped us for this task. We could see that in the middle of the ground there was a zone where lateritic stone was at the surface. This is not good for farming, but the buildings of the school could be built on this less fertile ground. We also needed to locate the best place to drill the water well. Our local water man was also with us. He was able to locate 2 places where we could locate the water well with prospect of at least 5m3 / hour flow.  This ground will be registered on the name of ASAP. We still have to finalize the needed infrastructures.


Karim looking at the soil       

water man looking for water

On the way back we stopped in the villageof Kwekwesso. We will be building a new nursery school in this village in 2011. We had to spot the ground they wanted to allocate for this. It happens to be a very good location with a water well very close by. It was also the day when Désiré had programmed the weighing of the shea (karité) butter of this village. This year the production is very good. If you know of any customers for shea butter, do not hesitate to contact

Women with their bags of shea butter

Butter already weighed

Désiré busy with administration  

          Getting ready for the next bag

Tuesday was our first village visit with the whole village. It was in Kofila. The theme of the “palabres” was village organization. We first ask them to explain to us how their village is organized. In Kofila there are at least 14 different groups / associations. How do they communicate, work together? Kofila is a big village (2500 people) and rather well organized.  However, we were able to give them some very simple examples of communication problems. There is no formal meeting point of the organized groups in the village. In order to make a development plan for their village, they have to be less driven by outside organizations (such as ASAP) or government but more by their own needs. We have offered them our help to improve their organization (better communication, more transparency, and more involvement of the villagers), also to work with them on their development plan.
Now we have to wait and see if they will ask for our help.

The women side of the meeting            

Jean Francois making a point

Counselor of the village 

    Women of the board controlling the nursery school

Hum! Really!    

What’s up!

Older woman

School children happy to see us arriving in Kofila

The container has been cleared from the customs and our house is full of boxes and bags which we have to sort out for distribution. In order to do clear it, we had to take everything out of the container for inspection at the transit company and then put it back in again to bring some items to our house and others to the ASAP center. It took them the whole day Friday to do this. The custom officer was not very friendly and wanted to inspect almost all the boxes.  Since yesterday, Eugénie is busy with sorting out the clothes while I was looking at the computers.


 Jean Francois discussing with custom officer

Getting close to the bus from Bertrand


Content out of the container

Content out of the container

Eugénie busy with the clothes

Bernard checking the computers

Prices of goods are going up rather fast here. Situation inIvory Coastfrom which a lot of goods are coming is one factor, but also the game of the traders producing artificial lack of goods by not keeping them in warehouses. The food prices will be interesting to watch.

This will be all for this week.

Take care.



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