Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Week 3 - SNAC attack!

We're slowly but surely getting the hang of the Burkinabe way of life. We're no longer surprised to find lizards in our shower, to have water cuts or to see live goats chilling on the roofs of moving buses.

Our last blog post was given the best blog title award for 'Getting Djigui with it' by International Service. We're all very proud but we're  struggling to come up with anymore puns.

At work we've been keeping busy; our week started with our first look at the production of Soya milk and Tokan tofu. Geared up in our boots, hats and aprons, we certainly looked the part! After helping to scrub down the production room, we were shown how the soya beans are cleaned and de-shelled and then eventually turned into milk.

In the office, Rowan and Pippa have been creating an English language book in preparation for teaching the Djigui women how to speak English. Laura has been working on social media, filming and fundraising. Rory has been translating the Djigui recipe book into French, and feeling inspired, he has been experimenting with the Djigui Tokan at home; trying to find new and exciting dishes to add - much to the delight of  the Djigui housemates who get to sample all of his wonderful dishes! We've been mainly living off rice or pasta so something different is much appreciated.
Seraphine and Val were interviewed by a local radio journalist!

The Snac Food Festival launched in the centre of Ouagadougou this week, it is an 11 day event in which local food businesses hire a stall and sell their goods. Djigui Espoir have two stalls selling brochettes and tokan dishes. Another International Service project partner, Tigoung Nonma also have a stall selling beef brochettes and plantain, yum! Over the weekend we were lucky enough to pop down and taste all sorts of gastronomic delights including savoury pancakes, brochettes, Barbenda (spinach & rice) and more brochettes! Each member of the team will spend an evening this week working at one of our stalls.

We have lots of exciting projects lined up for us here at Djigui Espoir. We're hopefully going to finish the kiosk in the next 3 months with help from donations and fundraising. The kiosk will provide us with a chance to sell brochettes and sandwiches to the public at lunchtimes. This will provide 3 more women with full time jobs. We are also working on the cereal fund. Due to heavy rainfall in the rainy season, the price of Millet and Sorgho can double. This can be devastating for Djigui Espoir as they can't afford to buy the grain that they require to make cereals. Our aim is to raise enough money to buy a years worth of grain at the lower price, therefore giving Djigui a chance to continue with production all year round.
Val and Rory cooking some tasty tokan brochettes at the festival  

In other news, we've been invited to our first African Wedding! One of the lovely national volunteers, Biba, is getting married on the 8th February and she's generously invited all of us along. This is creating a great deal of excitement among us as we deliberate which vibrant fabric to buy for our outfits. The local tailor will then create a dress or suit for the equivalent of about £4 (and we're not talking Primark quality!)

Our French and English lessons are going well. We've had some heated debates about Volunteering, Global Equality and Millennium Development Goals. It's really interesting to hear the views of others and to look at situations from a different angle. We have so much to learn from each other, the national volunteers teach us all about the Burkinabe way of life and we teach them about British social mores.

And now a word from our national volunteers

  Hello, William here. In the past week we have assisted the Djigui women with soya production and selling Djigui Espoir products at the food festival for 11 days. It was very interesting. We also started a project which provides microcredit for Djigui Espoir women in order to help them financially. This week has been very rich in experiences due to new activities at the food festival and more soya and milk production. we have also discussed with the UK volunteers about their way of life in order to understand more of their culture and their actions. it's a really great and rich experience of life so long live IS and ICS.

Serge says, This week has been an interesting one, we have been at the SNAC festival which has lasted 11 days. We have learned how to make soya brochettes and we've sold nearly 600 brochettes a day. It's a good way to inform people of the soya products that we make here at Djigui as lots of people didn't know about us.

We have also been doing French and English exchange lessons, this is a very fast way to learn English.

We have started to research how Djigui can set up a micro credit fund in order to help the members to create their own business. If you'd like to donate then please check out our website http://djiguiespoir.webs.com

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