Updates by Michael Lavoie
1. The Megue 50th Anniversaries Swingset Planting.
The idea started to stir on Thursday, following the cancelation of the Dedougou event, with the notion of visiting Megue because Megue pcv Kathryn had visited namtenga and I would likely be driving in that direction for a last visit to Dargo anyway. It seemed "zemsame" or just to do so. Then, what about doing something special in Megue and then thinking about Namtenga's swingset history--my first one in 1975 and the Brookside Project one a few years ago-- and how so many youth cherish the swingset memory, and then pcv staff encouragement and then Simeon finding out it is doable. We have to do it. Saturday began with arrangements to order the swingset for Megue in honor or the 50th. The twin of the swingset in Namtenga will be made by the same man and installed in Kathryn's village of Megue on Thursday. Saturday morning I also met with Augustin Bonkoungou, the head of the Megue school that happened to be in Ouaga and he in turn spoke with the mayor of megue. Green light given and all set to install with ceremonies on March 3.
Augustin added some words of Mossi wisdom applicable to friendship stuff like this: "Ned faa ya a to tim", meaning "Everyone is the next person's medication". Had the Koudougou zigzag not occurred, the Megue 50th Anniversaries Memorial Swingset Planting would never have happened.
2. Koudougou Celebration: Moving on, the Koudougou substitute event started at noon at the pcv transit house. Talked about a bunch of pc stuff and the tour and then had nice telephone and skype hook ups with 6-7 pcv's and rpcv's sonia, ryan and anastasia. Revealing and sometimes profound discussions about past and present differences and common struggles and deeply personal enrichment from the bf pc experience.
3. Colonel Ouedraogo, Judge Mester, CMU, Dargo and Fort Bragg.
These five elements converged this afternoon in friendship and respect at the home of BF retired Colonel Daniel Sore Ouedraogo. Judge Mester and he both trained at Fort Bragg in the 1960's. Judge Mester was a great help in bringing about the CMU Resolution of support for the 2 anniversaries and the $1,000 donation to Dargo that will be used to repair the Ambulance. About the donation, Colonel Ouedraogo was so appreciative and his wife observed it is so good simply because "it will save lives".
I read Judge Mester's letter to the Colonel as he proudly wore the CMU hat. His wife wore the CMU teeshirt. The Colonel apologized that he was not able to be in Dargo earlier due to to some serious health issues that were still giving him pain when we met.
The Fort Bragg coffee mugs stirred his recollection of paratroop training at Fort Bragg and of an individual he knew was going to Vietnam.
We drifted into a discussion about how there are 64 ethnic groups in BF yet BF remains a peaceful country because the ethnic groups have a long history of collaboration in order to survive along with cultural traditions of respect and joviality between themselves. In contrast, the history and traditions in the Ivory Coast are different.
After the meeting, Simeon, christophe and I marveled again at this encounter and the difficulty of fully explaining it.
Maybe the pictures will help. I stopped by the pcv transit house and got some nice help sending the pics with pcv health volunteers alicia and anna. They also shared some tough wow moments of their own regarding infant health and fatality events.
Stay tuned for more news.