Second week for this trip in Burkina Faso. The rainy season should be at its end, but we have had rains each day. Farmers who need to harvest some of their crops do not have covered spaces to dry them. Either the crops rot on the field or rot at the house of the farmers. Let’s hope that the rain will decrease in the coming days. Roads to go the villages are also completely destroyed.

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Beginning of the new school year at the LAP

 

Not a good time for sheep

A lot of Burkinabe are Muslim. One of the major events in the Muslim calendar is Tabaski. According to history the Tabaski (Eid Al Adha) commemorates the enslavement of Ibrahim (Abraham) to God who ordered him to sacrifice his son Ismael. Tabaski was feasted yesterday. Most Muslim family will slaughter a sheep, people go from house to house to greet each other and to eat.

I asked one of my local Muslim friend why they did not eat pork. He told me that for what he knows that in the old time, a pig had saved an important Muslim leader by bringing him to water after he had been many days without it. In recognition, he decided that they should not eat pigs. Other people will tell you that it is because pigs are dirty, or that they cannot be slaughtered properly since they do not have any neck. There might be other interpretations not listed above.

So far Muslims in Burkina are rather moderate and cohabitate well with the other religions in Burkina.

New school year at the LAP (Agricultural Secondary School)

The new school year at the LAP has started. There are now 223 students there. 47 among them will be in their 4th year and will pass a national exam called BEPC. Those who get this exam can keep on studying if they wish to.

All the girls are accommodated in their foyer. We have been able to open the boys’ foyer which, as for now, can take 37 students. All the last year students (girls and boys) are in the foyers which gives them the best conditions for studying.

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Meeting of the students on Monday.

In July we had to stop our collaboration with the director of the LAP. For this school year we will have 5 permanent teachers and Emmanuel will be the interim director.

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From left to right: Math, French, English, Agronomy and Animal Science teachers

New medical center in Bona

In March this year we had started the building of a medical center in the village of Bona. This was financed by the Japanese embassy in Burkina Faso. It is now completed and the medical personnel should be arriving this coming week.

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Dispensary, maternity clinic, pharmaceutical depot and 2 houses for the personnel.

Gardens for the women

Last year we started a project with the women in some villages. Against 15 euro we were providing them with a fence of 4m x 4m, 4 papaya trees, 4 moringa trees and 4 pepper shrubs. It is incredible how fast the papaya trees have grown. Women are very happy.

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Left the garden in October 2013, right a papaya tree in October 2014

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Papaya tree from a woman’s garden

You might remember that out trip in July, I was complaining that we could not find any papaya due to a problem with white flies. Well no problem now.

Solar energy for the medical center of Bona

NASF (Nederland Albert Schweitzer Foundation) has agreed to fund electrification of the medical center of Bona with solar energy. The association of women of Bona asked for this realization and they needed to sign a document for NASF.

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Odile preparing the document for the president of the association.

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While waiting for us, the women have picked up some type of plants/leaves in the surroundings which they will use to make a sauce.

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Long tail bird in flight

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Strange beans on this tree Birds picking up sorghum

Proverbs of the week

There are three species of companions: some we cannot do without: like drinking and eating; some for which we only feel the need at certain times, such as medicine in times of sickness; and those we could totally do without, like disability and suffering.

Il y a trois espèces de compagnons: ceux dont nous ne pouvons-nous passer: comme de boire et de manger; ceux dont nous éprouvons le besoin qu’en certains cas, comme la médecine en temps de maladie; et ceux dont nous nous passerions volontiers, comme des infirmités et de la souffrance.

Friendship is a trace in the sand if you stop to redo it disappears.

L’amitié est une trace dans le sable : si tu cesses de la refaire elle disparait.

Hope you are all well. Until next week,

Hervé

 

Dorpen Blog: Tabaski feast, solar energy and the medical center of Bona