I have just got back in NL today. From 37 to 4oC, it is drastic change. Part of my trip back was by train and I had forgotten how cold the train platforms in NL can be.

Today is an election day in Burkina: parliamentary and town halls. Today should be still calm. But the coming days might not be. There are so many frauds possible and no party likes to lose (specially not if it is the one with the power). Most people are very disabused about the process and for many only a revolution can take out the group of people who monopolies the  power for over 20 years. Let's hope that everything will remain peaceful.

The mayor of Ouagadougou told a group of people at a previous election “yes we have stolen a lot of funds, but now we do not need more. If you elect another group they will first steal also, but for us we will now invest in the country development”. Very cynical but not far from the truth!

Some of the classrooms are used for the election. In Ouagadougou, the teachers wanted to be on strike the whole week before the election. The government just decided to close all the classes for this particular week. Not much of a strike. Normally school stops only for a couple of days so that they can prepare the classrooms!!!

It was my last week in Burkina this trip and since we had a new recruit Odile, a lot of the week was spent in the office going over the various projects she will have to follow up.

On Monday we went to the LAP with the Regional Director of the secondary education (his position is just under the minister). We had visited him in his office in Bobo the previous week to brief him on what we were doing at the LAP. He then told us that it is better that he get the information first hand than to be told by the minister.


First year student wearing T-shirts to do sports later on


Second year students


Left Gnoumou, our school director in the middle the regional Director of secondary education

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Dormitories for the girls Refectory


The amphitheater almost ready

On Tuesday we visited the village of Kofila. Main topics was to make them talk about the subjects we discussed in a meeting in Bobo at the beginning of October. The group who was in Bobo  had already restituted the main ideas of the meeting. With repeated some of the plays we had done in Bobo. Since most of the people are analphabets, acting scenes make the messages much more clear than words. It was the first time Odile had to provide the translation and it went rather well.

blog-2-12-2012-7In one of the act, we are teaching them to say “NO”. It is impossible for African in general to say a straight no. I took the hat of an elder man and wear it. No reaction from him. I ask him from whom the hat was and he told him it was his. I put it back on his head and 2 minutes later I did the same thing again, again no reaction. Only on the 5 times did he say a very timid “no”.




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Some men of Kofila


Women behind some of the leaders

This trip was rather long and intense, but very motivating. Each visit we are able to see some “little” change we help us to keep our motivation. Changes are slow, but they are happening. Let's hope that the political situation stay calm with the same unscrupulous people in charge or let's hope for a “quiet revolution” which could bring some better distribution of the wealth?

Ibo proverb:

Always being in a hurry does not prevent death, neither does going slowly prevent living

Toujours être pressé n'empêche pas la mort, ni d'aller lentement n'empêche de vivre.

Thanks to read the blogs.



Blijf op de hoogte van onze ontwikkelingen!