Updates by Michael Lavoie
Thursday. We were going to start the celebrations at Dargo but zigzagged to boulsa where proceeded with a mini-celebration at the home of my host. family's mother, Bila. There, we presented 1st teeshirt to Bila. And Boulsa pcv's Timothy and Rebecca joined us. A most fitting place to begin as Bila was where I began. Bila was well and we kidded her how she looked the same as ever and was a poksada--i stressed to laughter that she was my poksada. And as the teeshirt was presented, Micheline explained the importance of the 2 anniversaries. And bila told timothy and rebecca that if they ever needed any help they can come to her. I think you will see in the pictures that Bila wore the 50th Teeshirt like a vestment.
The Dargo Celebration set a standard that will be difficult to exceed. Although we were about a half hour late and he international call in # did not work and my cell phone did not work, we zigzagged with Christophe's phone to reach Joe on his and he got some of the other Dargo Flood Relief guys on the phone. We spoke from the house that they built! Everbody introduced each other and then christophe's family described their deep appreciation. Joe kidded about how are they able to put up with me.
We also then had a call with RPCV Bob McCormick (Dargo wells, 72-74). + he asked about if anyone remembered him and if his wells still worked and if his school was still there. We'll see I said.
From Christophe's house we went to the Mayor's building for the celebration. What followed was a meeting with the regional government reps, outdoor celebration with about 300-400 people with music and african masks and dances. Christophe was the MC. He eloquently described the 2 anniversaries and their importance in Moore. I then gave my remarks as well in Moore about friendship, its great importance and then the concrete examples of it through the Dargo Relief Group, and Bob McCormick with whom we just spoke. I said my friends in USA asked me what I would say and I said "Duniya faa ...." And the we focused on the friendship between my friend Judge Mester and Colonel Ouedraogo and the great resolution of CMU that Chrisophe summarized! The announcement of the donation being used to repair the ambulance was received by a huge round of applause! CMU hats and shirts were worn throughout the ceremony by officials and performers. Check them out! CMU can take great in their inestimable contribution to this event.
Dinner. The goverment officials joined me for dinner later at christophe's house. Listened and talked about how Floby has won all the top music prizes and how profound his music is. Also talked about current events in Egypt and they described, in answer to my questions, the process for dispute resolutions that begins with the 2 parties and then proceeds to the local police and then to a judge in Kaya, the regional capital. Seemed fairly efficacious.
Very enjoyable dinner!
Day was not yet done, however, as we stayed up til midnight for a call with Tom Vollrath and his project committee. We stressed the importance of future FBF-PCV projects going through PC Partners.
Stay tuned for more updates!