This week flew by.

Gerard and Hans left on Tuesday and we took them to Ouagadougou with Emmanuel. We are looking for an assistant for Emmanuel and we are using a head hunter from Ouagadougou for this. We had 3 candidates to interview on Wednesday morning. Unfortunately we did not find what we are looking for. On Thursday we had 2 other candidates to interview in Bobo Dioulasso. We thought we had found the right candidate, but we found out the next day that he was going abroad to further his study with a scholarship. We just have to keep looking.

On Sunday evening we had a dinner at home with all the available personnel of ASAP and Social Business.

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Elza and Anne: whose baby is it?

On Monday we all went to the LAP (our private agricultural secondary school). This allowed us to assist to the first internet connection via satellite. Not a very sophisticated way to align the dish. Technician in the computer room shouting “more to the right”, “back to the left” to the helper at the antenna. Then in contact with the technician in Belgium by phone trying to finalize the set up with comment such as “now it is ok, make sure that you do not move anything while you are tightening the screws”. It reminded me of my time working in the oil field in Colombia trying to get a radio signal to the office.

But it worked and we have internet at the LAP. It took us 6 months from the time we had the antenna in Burkina to the final installation. We have now also 12 computers in our computer room.

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Final adjustment of the dish.

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The computer room at the LAP

I probably said this many times, but it is so nice to see the students at the LAP, which always adds to the motivation of improving it.

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Students in the class and getting their lunch

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The dormitory for girls is coming out of the ground

On the way the LAP we stopped at the nursery school of Oualana. They have 58 children of 5 years old.

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58 children + 2 on the right

On Thursday we had organized in Nefrelaye a meeting of the teachers of the primary schools of 5 of our villages. The agenda of this meeting was “participative teaching” and “The primary school as the heart of the village”. There were 28 teachers and they all participated very well in the discussion. The first topic was presented by the local pedagogical advisor. The problem is that whatever good practices are discussed and agreed upon, if they are not part of the ministry of education's recommendation, nobody will apply them.

Fortunately,  it seems that the active method of teaching is slowly approved by  the ministry.

It is supported by the Japanese Development Agency. Instead of applying something simple, they are using a method from the US. Already the title of the method is incomprehensible and to make sure that the Japanese development is not lost, they keep the title in English. Not a good start.

Regarding the school as the heart of the village, after a good discussion, we asked the school director to come to us with a plan of activities for their school, realizations which could  help to achieve this goal. We will see if they are taking some initiatives.

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Part of the teacher's meeting

Before going to Ouagadougou, we visited the place where MKYS manufactures soap with Gerard and Hans. They were making a brown soap. Until now the one they were selling was white. Here there is a lot of red dust in the air and the white soap looks “dirty” after a while. The plan is to make  a brown soap which would stay brown even with the dust.

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Jacques is pouring the soap into the mold.

Friday we went to Mogobasso for a village meeting. They had received the message that we would not do any projects in their village until they had all their water wells working. To make sure this happens we have asked them for 1.000.000 CFA (€ 1.500). This is a lot of money for them. But it is the only way to see if they take responsibility for their village's water need.

The meeting was not very long, but we could reiterate our demand. Their reaction was rather good. They realize that their major problem is water and that they had to take responsibility to make it work. The problem is that there are various ethnical groups in the village. Will all of them participate?

We assisted to a strange scene. One of the elder called one woman and a man from each ethnical groups and started to talk to them. It seems that they all agree to participate.

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Elder speaking with the various ethnical groups.

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Not everybody were impressed by our speeches

They have decided that each person has to give 250 cfa per month until they come to the amount needed. It is a very goo
d idea, but we should not be too optimist: who will collect the funds, who will keep it safe???? But if they want us back in their village, they know what they need to do.

Saying of the week :

Aussi longtemps que les lions n'auront pas leur historien, les récits de chasse tourneront toujours à la gloire du chasseur.

As long as the lions do not have their historian, tales of hunting always turn to the glory of the hunter.

Every day is a new life.

Take care. Hervé

Blijf op de hoogte van onze ontwikkelingen!