Updates by Michael Lavoie
Dedougou surprise. After stops for repairing a flat tire and a fallen suspension bar, we arrived in Dedougou about 5:00 pm. For the first time, however, we had no prearranged mtg with pcv's. Christophe went to work canvassing some of the locals and came up with a couple leads, one of which brought us someone who took us to the homes of pcv's Ryan and Kate. A visit to a local bar followed and it was delightful to see them hit it off so well with Noelie, Christophe, and Antoinette. So well that Kate let Noelie and antoinette stay the night with her while Ryan is letting Christophe and I stay with him. On top of that, ryan is working with christophe on some computer training.
And it turns out that Kate is from Grosse Point and may try to pursue a Ford Foundation grant. The CMU resolution and Namtenga Projects may help her design and get a project in Dedougou built around the anniversary celebrations.
Monda morning we accompanied Kate to her Women's Development association meeting. Although here just a couple months she has already obtained traction, respect and credibility with the group. We also had an interesting discussion about the importance of the anniversies. Lunch with ryan and kate where we made a telephone connection with Dianne Ferguson who served in Dedougou from 67-69. Ryan and Kate spoke with her about some of the differences between now and then like roads and electricity.
Just minutes away from leaving, pcv Dan arrived from ouaga so we were able to speak with him about his work with small business development for nearly 2 hours.
Whether you spent 2 hours or 2 days with Ryan, Kate and Dan you would be so impressed by their passion, toughness, creativity and outreach. America can be proud of their very real demonstration of these virtues.
Now, on to Bobo....
Stay tuned for more updates!