Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Week 5 - Tó(te)s are maize balls.

This week we’ve been continuing to make progress with various initiatives. The building of the kiosk is coming along nicely, the frame of the awning is complete and we are just waiting for the fabric to be fitted. Laura has also been in the process of entering a competition which offers a financial grant to the winning organisation, fingers crossed! Rowan continues to work towards finding funding for our renewable energy sources (solar panels etc). Pippa has been putting the finishing touches on the Djigui newsletter, and starting to design some menus, leaflets and invitations for our open day in a few weeks’ time! We’ve also been preparing this week for yet another food festival, in Ouaga 2000!

Rory and Pippa's legendary Tokan Moussaka!
We have been experimenting with recipes this week for our Djigui recipe book. Rory has been coming up with more recipes, and now trying to angle his ideas towards canapés and finger foods for the open day. On Thursday, Pippa and Rory spent the morning in the kitchen at home trying their hand making a Tokan based Moussaka. It seemed to go down a storm with the Djigui women, and is now our newest addition to the recipe book (in English and French)!

Talking of English and French, the biweekly language exchanges have been going really well. The improvements we’ve seen both in Serge and William’s English, as well as our French have been really impressive. Just shows how immersion into a language is by far the best way to learn.

On Friday (the dreaded Valentine’s Day) team HSB invited their team leader Souad, and nationals Franceline and Alexis to dinner at Djigui house. We decided the only possible solution to our all-pervading loneliness was to theme the dinner as a post-modern, ‘Anti – Valentine’s’ evening. Needless to mention that it was, of course, a huge success.

At the weekend we attended ‘Rendezvous chez nous’, an art, music and dance festival. Filled with art, bright colours and imaginative decorations, it was further evidence that Burkina is the art hub of West Africa. We had a great time watching the music and somewhat abstract dance performances. Watching a group of grown men dressed up in enormous and elaborate hand costumes had to be a highlight of the evening. Along with the morning’s incredibly hectic visit to the Grand Marché, everyone was totally exhausted by the end of the day.

We were also treated to some lovely traditional Burkinabé food on Sunday, courtesy of Josiane Nikiema, a connection of Rory’s. She introduced us to her parents and sister, and invited us for a gorgeous meal of Buffalo riz graz, vegetables, chicken wings and Tó (Burkina’s slightly strange national dish, a jellified emulsion of maize flour and water); not to mention the incredible strawberries and yogurt for pudding! The generosity and willingness to sacrifice, seemingly ingrained in all Burkinabés continues to amaze and humble us every day.

Until next time! 

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