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Surprisingly there were still rains last week in Bobo Dioulasso. Some farmers are happy (they had seeded late) some are not happy (difficult to harvest and keep the grains dry.

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You can see with the chart that it is not easy for the farmers to choose when to seed their fields. The start of the rains is shifting and the rains themselves are also shifting. Farmers who have seeded in June 2012 had to reseed their field because of lack of rains. Farmers who waited to seed in July the following year had problem at the end of the season.

Political situation

The elections are planned for November 29. The country is rather calm. Some top people keep being arrested mainly for misappropriation of funds. The last one was the head of the cotton farmers union. In a previous blog, I talked about him. He was going alone negotiating the price of the cotton with the cotton company. And the one behind the riots that happened in our street last year.

Land ownership (follow up from last week)

It is possible to have land ownership in Burkina. We had to go through the process for the land given to us where we are building the LAP.

The first step is to get all the land owners together with the land chief of the village. This meeting confirms that they want to sell or give the land. Then a geometer comes to limit and measure the land. Then the same people together with the local government representative, but also with the sons of the owners, are meeting to write and sign what is called the “contrat de palabres”. This is the first document needed. Then the new owner has to prepare a document indicating what the land will be used for, the investment he will do on the land. This document allows him to get what is called the operating permit. In the meantime the land has to be registered by the cadaster. The last document is the title for the land which you get when you have all the other documents and when you have paid the taxes.

It is a long and costly process. Farmers have first difficulties to know exactly where the limits of their lands are, then they do not have the money for such a process.

Infrastructure at the LAP

The LAP is continuously being built. Each year we have additional students and additional teachers.

blog 2015 11 01 3Two new houses for teachers

The dining hall / study room for the boys’ foyer.

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This trip to the LAP, I took time to participate in various classes. To get a feeling of the way the teachers are interacting with the classes.

Something I have noticed (but also the teachers) is that the first 2 years students are very open and participative. Then when they become third years it seems that the children close up and their participation in the classes is difficult to get. Is it the age of the children? They are between 14 and 16 years old. Is it the program of studies? We are still looking for the answer.

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Above: French class in first year

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Student of fourth year

Proverb of the week

In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams. ~ Nigerian proverb
En moment de crise, le sage construit des ponts et les fous des barrages. ~ Proverbe nigérian

However long the night, the dawn will break. ~ African proverb
Quel que soit la longueur de la nuit, l’aube viendra. ~ Proverbe africain

No birds pictures this week! Will try to have some next week.

Hope that you are all doing well.

Take care,
Hervé