Our third week in Burkina did not include trip outside of Bobo Dioulasso, but we enough to keep us busy here.

First let me follow up on the saga of Mogobasso. Summary of the previous episodes:

Episode 1: because of bad debt, bad attitude, no reaction to our call, we told them early July that we are stopping all activities with them, including support to the nursery school and the primary school.

Episode 2: a few of the men of the villages thought that we were bluffing and there was still no reaction. It seems that it is only 3 to 4 men who do not like ASAP helping the village to develop. They are probably thinking that they will loose some of their power if other villagers start to think.

New episodes:

Episode 3: my first reaction was to confront those people and try to make them understand that it was also their advantage if the village develops. After discussion with our local advisers, we went for another strategy. We inform them that the next day we would come to pick up all material of the nursery school: benches, tables, ….

Episode 4: we were not in the village, but the information we got is that there was an immediate reaction from the women. They put pressure on the village chief to finally react. You have also to know that one of the trouble makers in the village is his son.

Episode 5: last Wednesday, we had the visit of the village chief together with another elder. It was only the second time that the chief had left his village. The previous time was to go the hospital. They told us what had happened in the village and wanted us to stop the pick up of the material. They asked us to wait for an answer until Friday. They would discuss the problem between them in the mean time. From our internal source, the discussion took place on Wednesday night and lasted until very late in the night.

Episode 6: we are Sunday and guess what? No news from Mogobasso. Our plan now is to pick up the material from the nursery school coming Tuesday. We also found out that one of the major problems if we take out the material is that all the neighboring villages would now what was happening and they would loose face!!!

I am sure that in my next week letter, their will be some new episode to this Saga.

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                                                                             Chiefs from Mogobasso in our office

The situation of Mogobasso is not unique. If in a village some of the people in charge are not honest, no villagers will dare to confront them.
If a person from the village steals something, nothing will happen to him even if everybody knows who he is. In contrary, if the person is a foreigner and if he is caught he will be beaten to death without any problem.

If the thief is from the village, it is almost impossible to find out who did it for an outsider. There is a silent law between the villagers. However if the chiefs are honest, they can take some action to stop the person to steal again. Unfortunately, some of the chiefs are not honest and take advantage of those situations. Those chiefs have no interest to have ASAP talking to their villagers about transparency, education…Besides ASAP, another threat to those bad leaders is a good school director. A good director is respected and listens to. He does not get involved with the bad leader. The bad leader does not like that, his influence could be questioned. What does such leader? He makes the director unsecured by stealing his house or his chicken. He will not do it himself, but will have other people doing for him. Very often this work and the good director will ask to be move to another village.

Development of the village can only happened if we have good leaders. Choice of leaders in the villages is based on tradition. We can only try to convince the leaders that being honest will help the village development and help them too. Since chief change with time, it is a continuous task. Unfortunately, if the chief look at his own government, he does not have a good example.

This week we delivered close to 18.000 trees to the villages from which 7.000 fruit trees (mango, cashew nuts, lime, orange and baobab). The logistic is not very easy. Trees are grown at different locations and there are limited numbers of trees which can be loaded in the truck. We cannot tell the villagers exactly at what time the truck will arrive at the village. Since most villagers are busy in the fields, delivery always takes some time.

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                                                                            Loading the trees in the truck

The rains have finally arrived more regularly. Now we have to hope that they will last until the end of September.With the rain came flying termite, thousands and thousands of them attracted by the lights around the house.  They fly to mate and then loose their wings. It is impressive to see all the wings on the floor. The feconded female will be starting a new colony.

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                                                                                        Wings of flying termites

At the end of the year they will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the independence in Bobo. For this they are starting work road all over the town. They are also building a huge conference center / theater. Will all this be ready for December 11th??

 

                                                             
       

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Conference center under construction

Yesterday, Arend (member of our Dutch board) arrived from theNetherlands with Désiré (back from work and vacation inEurope). It is the first time Arend comes toAfrica. End of the coming week we will be going back home.

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Our house in Bobo

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Asap development center

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                                                       Last week Hennie pictured a bird, here the cat that is looking for it

Hope you are all well.

Groetjes,

Hervé

Blijf op de hoogte van onze ontwikkelingen!