Monday, September 23, 2013

Our final post! - By Hannah Freeney

So...this week is the final week in Burkina Faso for our current cohort. Michael, Emily, Clara and I (Hannah) will be leaving for the UK this Friday. Just to make things clear, I have written this blog on Tuesday 17th September - as this is our last day of work!

This week is therefore mostly centred around tying up loose ends, and coming to terms with the fact that we're all leaving.

On Monday morning, we were invited by the Cefise and Paralympic groups to an inclusive sports day. This was a great opportunity to support our fellow IS projects, as well as a good reason for a range of people to come together and enjoy taking part in inclusive sport. There was a wheelchair basketball match, a deaf football match, children playing blindfolded goal ball, and all other sorts of great activities.

Back at work that afternoon, it was our last real opportunity to make sure that all the work we'd done during our time at Djigui was completed and up to date. We finished off our handover documents to provide information for the next cohort, who will be arriving on Sunday, about what we've done and what they can follow up on.

We stayed late that afternoon, as we wanted to really make the most of our time in the office to get everything done. Thankfully, we did, and it was an amazing feeling!

On Tuesday morning (this morning - our last day at work!) Jean Pascal came to Djigui for our final meeting, to go through all the tasks and objectives and generally to go through our time and progress throughout our placement. It felt like a great way to finish - to tie everything up and go through all that we'd done.

This afternoon, the women of Djigui are preparing a lunch for us, because we're leaving. It's so lovely for them to do this for us, and we all really appreciate it. After we cooked a big meal for them last week, it's a similar tradition, and a lovely exchange and thanks for our time here and the work that we've done.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, we are all at the Palace de la Jeunesse where we had our training week. The first part of the day will be spent all doing our presentations. In the afternoon we're having a cultural exchange event which sounds like it's going to be amazing. We're each wearing a piece of Burkinabé clothing, people are bringing food, and there will be dancing and generally lots of fun and celebration! It's going to be an amazing way to spend one of our last few days here in Burkina - all together and all integrated in the culture.

That's all that's organised for this week! Thursday and Friday we'll be packing and saying goodbye to Burkina Faso, preparing for our long journey home!

It's been an absolute pleasure working here at Djigui Espoir, it is such a worthwhile organisation and I am  so proud to have been a part of it. My placement with ICS has been a once in a lifetime experience, and I know that Emily, Clara and Michael have also had an amazing and rewarding time here and have worked really hard, contributing positively to Djigui Espoir.

Valeria, our team leader needs a mention too - she's been a constant support and has not only been an amazing team leader but has also become a great friend.

I feel truly honoured to have had this experience, and now - on to the next cohort! I hope they get as much out of this experience as we all did, and do everything they can for Djigui, whilst making the most of every second!

Thanks for reading,
Hannah Freeney.

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