Eugenie will be going back to Ouagadougou tomorrow morning to fly on Tuesday to The Netherlands. I will stay an additional two weeks here.
We have sold our house in Naarden and are moving to a smaller appartment in Huizen a town nearby. The move is planned for November 21st and 22nd. Smart from me to stay in Burkina until November 7th, don’t you think so?
Tuesday was “tabaski” Muslim feast (sheep festival). It is a holiday in Burkina. We took advantage of this to go visit the children with scholarship who are in Banfora. Some of them are Moslim so we thought it would be nice to have a little celebration with them. The girls (they are 23) have cooked for all of us. When we arrived at the school of the girls, the boys were already there. They came to great us and I was really impressed by the size of all the boys coming towards us. The 3 meals per day have an impact.
Above the 49 students with Emmanuel talking to them. At the end of September, they came by our office in transit to Banfora. We had a talk about responsibility and to take themselves in charge not waiting for ASAP to do everything. In previous meeting we would have a long list of things they wanted to have. This meeting almost nothing. Did our talk had some impact?
We discussed about their future by asking what Burkina needed the most: civil servants or entrepreneurs. The first answer was civil servants. We had a long discussion on why we think it is better to have more entrepreneurs. Not sure they are convinced.
Below the official, Eugenie, 3 brothers of the boys’ school and the director of the girls’ school.
The girls opening goodies bags which we had received from Childslife.
At the beginning of October you might remember that we held a meeting with the leaders of the villages in Bobo. Part of this meeting was an awareness on changing of mentality, transparency, talking the truth, being able to say “no” and responsibility.
We have started an “ASAP list of important words”. This list is in Dioula and we ask the villagers to repeat the words all together. It makes them laugh but we hope that the word will stay in their mind.
With the 3 villages we have visited so far we have seen a lot of impact from this awareness. The need to open a bank account to deposit the school fees for example is asked by the villagers themselves. Something which would have never happened before the meeting in Bobo.
We were in the village of Fina on Wednesday. This was the day after Tabaski and the Mossi and Peuhl were not many in the meeting. The Tabaski festivity was going on for the Mossi and the Peuhl did not agree on the date set up by the Imam.
In this village we opened this year a nursery school. I have already sent some pictures of the building in a previous blog. The school has opened with 77 kids.
In line for the food. Emmanule trying to sneak in at the end of the row.
The weekly program of the kids.
Friday we went to the village of Nefrelaye. We were surprised to see a large crowd waiting for us at arrival (people start to come when they hear the car and it can take between 3 to 45 minutes before we can start our talks). Here again it is an impact of the awareness meeting we had in Bobo.
One of the difficulty we had perceived in this village was the lack of motivation for education. Last year we had only 42 children at the nursery school after a lot of battle with the villagers. This year they have 54 and the recruiting was done by the chief himself family by family.
In July, Nefrelaye had not sent any of their primary school candidates pass the test for the LAP. They mentioned problem of communication in the village??? We gave back some information on the LAP and explain that if we did not have enough candidates from our villages, we would have to open the test to other villages. One of the villagers then said that it was as they were in front of a treasure and that they did not see it and that others might come and take the treasure under their nose.
Saturday Eugenie, the carpenter and I went to the LAP. I had to install some shelves and Eugenie to take care of the mosquito nets in front of the windows. We did sweat a lot, but everything planned was accomplished.
Theodore the French teacher holding one of the nets.
It was nice to see the girls in their environment: lot of laughing, giggling. Saturday is wash day for some of the girls.
Some girls washing, some studying
Beds we loaded in The Hague with Hans shipped with a container now bunk beds at the LAP.
The animals at the LAP are growing very fast. Below the 5 females piglets born earlier in the year.
A camel never sees its own hump.
Un chameau ne voit jamais sa bosse.
Hope you are well all well.
Until next week.