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Monday, November 25, 2013

And then there was light!

After 3 weeks of sitting in our office that we have lovingly dubbed “the sweat box” due to its lack of ventilation we were pleasantly surprised when we received the news that electricity has been finally installed. Not only that, but our internet was up and running as well. That may not seem like much, but in Burkina, these are small miracles.

                                        

Beside our excitement over what would normally be seen as basic amenities, we have continued with our report, completing data input and converting the collected information and figures into graphs and charts to illustrate comprehensively the state of disability sport in Burkina Faso. We have equally continued in our collection of data from the Federation members and now have only 4 members remaining while our Focus group has been scheduled to take place this Friday. Slowly, but surely our report is taking shape with proof-reading timetabled for the remainder of the week in view that a preliminary rough copy will be ready by the end of it. Fingers crossed! Moreover, due to our report being now in its final stages, we have been able to divert more of our focus to our other projects such as fundraising, creating an IT guide and slogan for the Federation, writing documents and brochures on the history of the Federation and the affiliated clubs, researching charities for possible partnerships and most importantly, securing Mr. Leone Salif Diarra as the patron of the Paralympic Committee until Rio 2016. We also organised a team dinner to celebrate our half-way point on our placement and the work we have accomplished so far.

                                       

 Other than working hard, the team has taken a chance to explore more of Burkina Faso by taking a trip down to Bobo-Dioulasso, the nation’s commercial capital, along with some of the members of the Paralympic Education team, team Kabeela and Tigoung Nonma. While exploring Bobo and its surrounding areas, we visited the stunning village of Koro, purposely perched up high on a  mountain to protect its inhabitants from war and invasion. Everyone particularly enjoyed the breathtaking view from the top, watching as the sun set at the horizon.

                                      
 
During our excursion, we also visited a hippo lake where we watched the languid hippopotami flicker their ears out of the water and puff water into the air.

                                     

We also dedicated a lot of time to exploring Bobo itself. We visited the Grand Mosque and the old village where we met up with Stanley’s sister Aisha who acted as our tour guide and the Grand Marche where we all successfully haggled our way to artisanal masks, animal statues, leather bags and intricate fabrics.

                                       

On Friday the team got up early to witness the Moro Naba’s ‘false departure’ where the Moro Naba, the chief of the Mossi people, at first emerges dressed in warrior red, ready for war at which point his advisors try to persuade him to change his mind. As he does so, his horse is unsaddled and the Moro Naba changes his clothes and re-emerges dressed in white to show his commitment to his people and peace and the cannon goes off, scaring everyone. After the ceremony was over, the team joined Tigoung Nonma along with the rest of the cohort for their Open Day. Everyone really enjoyed their time at TN, sampling the local food provided by TN’s new catering service, getting henna tattoos and colourful hair braids as well as the opportunity to buy all the beautifully hand crafted gifts for our families back home.

                                          

All in all it has been a busy couple of weeks and everyone is rather saddened at the thought that we now only have little over 2 weeks left in our placement.










  

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