Third week for this trip.
First some good news for Burkina. They qualified for the final of the African Cup of soccer. I am starting this letter one hour before the start of the game against Nigeria. This qualification has completely energized people in Burkina. They forget all their difficulties and concentrate on the performance of their team. It is very good for the moral and there is unity behind the team. People wear the color of Burkina all over the country, flags are on cars, bicycles, motorbikes, buses, trucks, everywhere. They have already started the party this morning.
I am coming back to my letter after Nigeria has won from Burkina. Nigeria was better overall, so no regrets.
Now to some bad news. One of the children of the first year at our agricultural school (LAP) died last Friday. As often here it is very difficult to find out what the cause of the death was. We are trying to investigate since at this time of the year there is the possibility of meningitis. In addition to this death, we had learned on Tuesday that 2 children in the first year of primary school had also died. Even with those 2 deaths, nobody was trying to find out what was the cause of their deaths. The director of one of the primary schools where one of the child died answered “he is dead from disease”!!!!!!! As a preventive measure we will vaccinate all the kids and the staff of the LAP against meningitis.
Well this being said, there was still a lot done this week. Yesterday Eugénie arrived in Burkina with her sister Yvonne and her husband Fred. It is their first visit to Africa.
With Odile Teri (assistant of the director Emmanuel) we spent 2 days working in a marigot (river that is dry 8 months of the year) trying to gather information to see if there is possibility to make a dam so that the villagers can do some vegetables gardens at the beginning of the dry season.
We were helped with this by villagers. We asked them to dig holes in the marigot in order to get to the water level. Holes had to get to around 4 meters. This is deep when you dig it by hand.
|Taking sample with an auger||A view of the marigot/|
Working on one of the holes
While we were walking in the marigot we passed by a traditional water well where Pheul women were taking out water.
At first when they saw me, they ran away. Only when they saw the local people with me they came back and talked to us.
Some of the tomatoes harvested at the LAP
Walking in the marigot was very interesting. Tiring, but interesting: birds of many kinds (too shy to be on the pictures), trees like the ones on the picture which look like it was having also its tribal marks.
Also many types of flowers like the one below.
We were also very busy in the office looking at our organization, working on development plan of social businesses. More on this on my next blog.
This is a rather short blog, but the death of the children at the LAP took out a lot of my inspiration.
Heard on the radio:
Le mauvais père clame qu'il a amené son enfant à réussir à un examen. Pour le bon père c'est l'enfant qui dit que c'est grâce à son père qu'il a réussi.
The bad father claims he brought his child to pass an exam. For the good father it is the child who says it is thanks to his father he succeeded.
Have a great week,