Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 4: Zounogo - A chicken called Lucky!

Saturday was a busy day! We began by heading over to the Djigui office to meet the Lions Club who were visiting for their annual partnership meeting. Djigui have established a very important partnership with the Lions club. They funded the construction of the office and production rooms in 2005 so that the association could finally move out of Madame Toe's house! They also provide us with ongoing support and assistance in a variety of areas, and make regular donations of clothing and grain. The meeting was a lot of fun as many of the Djigui members and their children attended, and we ate numerous brochettes and drank millet beer... all before mid-day.

The Lions Club
Sampling our tasty brochettes
Mme Toé and a Lions Club representative

After an enjoyable morning at Djigui we taxied over to the stadium for the Burkina Faso vs. Algeria world cup qualifier match. We arrived four hours before kick-off as we had been warned by other volunteers that the seats were filling up fast. There were already huge queues and crowds of people, with thousands of fans whistling, shouting and gearing up for the big game. When the anthem played, the roar of the 30,000 Burkina fans was deafening. The whistle was blown and the game began. It was a fairly even match with both sides playing well, and at times it was very close...

Singing the National Anthem

... But Burkina won 3-2!  C’est bon! We swarmed out of the stadium with the cheering crowds and all went for a celebratory dinner of Djigui brochettes at Le Foyer, before dancing the night away at a nearby bar. The music was a mixture of catchy Burkina tunes and familiar pop hits, and the dance floor was a sight to behold! Rowan cracked out her moonwalk, Ailsa channelled Sasha Fierce  (Beyoncé), Lewis attempted to Crip walk in flip flops, and Laura attempted to sing along to her new favourite song - 'Ayo' by Awabughin.

Early on Sunday morning we ventured over to the Lake of the Sacred Crocodiles, about a 45 minute drive out of Ouaga. On arrival it was compulsory to buy a chicken to be used as bait for the crocodiles. After walking to the edge of the tranquil lake we joined another group of tourists and witnessed their battered and bloody chicken (which was still alive!!) being used to bait an entirely uninterested croc. We did not fancy the idea of our chicken being used in such a way, having envisioned a quick and painless death for our new friend. Souad, the HSB team leader and part-time chicken saver, rescued our purchase from the hands of our guide and named him Zounogo (meaning ‘lucky’ in Mooré) and decided to take it home on the bus to live with her. So, instead of force feeding the crocs we took turns to sit on them! The crocodiles are hugely sacred and killing them is punishable by death, but bizarrely there is no issue in straddling them and posing for photos..!

Lewis... on a crocodile

Watching and waiting

Most of the week has been spent on continuing our fundraising efforts, which is proving harder than we initially thought. We have received another £100 of donations for the kiosk, which has brought us significantly closer to reaching our target. We've also worked on the idea of child sponsorships, updated sections of the Djigui website and social media, and brainstormed ideas for various possible membership programmes. On Monday Lewis also had a follow-up meeting with SpeedTech; they assessed our energy requirements and took measurements for solar panels, so we should have an installation estimate soon.

Speedtech people on the roof of Djigui

Tuesday was the Muslim holiday of Eid, defined by the national tradition of the giving and receiving of sacrificial livestock. On Monday evening Rowan accompanied one of the team leaders to the livestock market to purchase a goat. There was a massive variety of animals, and for some reason, the price of each goat was directly linked to the size of its testicles. The lengthy process of bartering with the sellers was a memorable experience, and it was interesting to partake in a side of Burkinabé culture that we don't normally see. The chosen goat was destined to feed three disadvantaged families on the outskirts of Ougaga.

Wheelchair basketball to celebrate National Wheelchair Day
On Friday, HSB held an event celebrating National Wheelchair Day at the Place de Nation, inviting Djigui to set up a stall to sell our produce. It was a great event and a fantastic opportunity for Djigui as hundreds of brochettes and bottles of soya milk were sold, and our nicely decorated stall acted as a good advertisement for the association. Rowan and Lewis designed cost posters and we all helped to set up and run the stall.

Our stall at HSB's event
The coming weekend will probably contain less adventure and life-taking risks, as we don't plan to antagonise any more wild animals! Instead, we shall spend some time exploring down town Ouaga, and working on trying to reach our fund raising target. Hopefully we will have raised more money by the time our next blog is written. Fingers crossed.

Merci pour la lecture!

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