Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Week 8 - Give a little respect!

It's been a very busy week this week at Djigui Espoir as we prepare for our big open day/opening of the Kiosk on the 15th March. Our open day will provide a chance for the public to come and sample our products and look around the production rooms. We'll have music, face painting and plenty of delicious food. Pippa has taken charge and is using her valuable events management experience to lead the way. Our aim is to introduce our new kiosk, new dishes and also to raise as much money as we can for Djigui Espoir. It'll also be a chance for us to say a proper goodbye to Djigui as it'll be the last day of work for us here.
We all got kitted up in our cleaning gear this week to clean out the kiosk. It's been used as a store room for a long time so it needed a good scrub. After emptying the store room of equipment and bags of grain, we began to scrub the many years worth of dust from the floor, walls and counter tops. It took 5 people, 4 hours and bucketfuls of bleach to get it looking sparkling but we're very pleased with the results.
After receiving our very generous donation of £695 from the staff at the Pottergate Centre in Alnwick, and £55 from Riverside, Blyth, Laura and Rowan set off with Madame Toé, Valeria and Seraphine to go and buy equipment for the kiosk. We bought a new fridge/freezer, a grill, a stove, pans, 2 big bottles of gas and various other cooking equipment. Our kiosk is now completely kitted out and it looks absolutely great. We've also had some new aprons made at the tailors using the money we received from NPower. They're all personalised to each Djigui woman and they look really smart.
We've had the painters in at Djigui this week and it's been given a makeover inside and out. The paint is oil based which means it's much easier to keep clean and will last much longer. Paying that little bit extra can pay off in the long run. So on the whole, Djigui HQ is looking pretty great!
On Wednesday we attended the wake of Kadi's father. It was a traditional Muslim wake which was a new experience for us all. It was a much more cheerful event in comparison to a wake in the UK. The friends and family all wore bright-coloured traditional African dress rather than the traditional black that we'd usually wear at home. We were given food (rice and fish) and water. Traditionally the widow isn't allowed to leave the family home throughout the whole event so we went inside to pay our respects. The widow seemed very happy to see us and asked us to take photographs with her.
It's also tradition that a friend of the deceased must dress in his clothes and pretends to be him for the whole day. His friend sat in his chair, gave advice to his sons and shouted 'have you fed the animals' (which was apparently a catchphrase of his). It was very entertaining but also very unusual at the same time. It's nothing less than what we expected from this wonderful country.
On Thursday, Rory and Pippa created some recipes using Djigui Tokan. After 4 hours of slaving over a hot stove they proudly presented the goods. Among the new dishes was Tokan pate, Tokan and potato croquettes and Tokan tortilla chips served with guacamole.
The kiosk is ready to open!
In the meantime, Laura and Rowan attended the University Of Ouagadougou to listen to Ives (an ex national volunteer) present and argue his thesis. Madame Toé was there on the panel of judges to mark him along with 2 of his university tutors. Ives passed with a mark of 17/20 which is excellent! Well done, Ives.
The weekend was a much needed break from a very busy week. On the Saturday it was International Women's Day. We had all previously been to the market to buy the official Women's Day material. Pippa and Laura made head bandanas and Rory made a very fetching tie. For the remainder of the day he got complimented on his tie everywhere he went which made him very proud of his fashion designing skills.
In Burkina Faso they take International Women's Day very seriously. Everybody wears the fabric, husbands go to the market for groceries and even cook for their wives. In our house we kept up this tradition by making the boys cook breakfast for the girls. They thoroughly surprised us by taking the table outside so we could eat our French Toast in the morning sunshine. It was wonderful, thanks boys.
On Sunday it was Heni's birthday, after opening her gifts we went to the Hotel Independent to use the wifi and relax around the pool.
It was a perfect week. We can see our kiosk taking shape and our hard work paying off.

1 comment:

  1. Well done to you all and good luck for the future. xx