Updates by Michael Lavoie
Thursday, March 3:
Balancoir in Meguet.
The team of Simeon, pcv's Emma and Andrew, along with PC staff Haoua, driver Hamadou and myself met at 7:30 at the house, then went to pick up the heavy duty, 4 seat, balancoir (swingset), pack and tie it down, get cement and then 1 hour trip on paved goudron and then 45 minutes on dirt road to Meguet. PCV Kathryn met us. After initial introductions, swingset was assembled, followed by a presentation ceremony at which the town mayor expressed his appreciation for Peace Corps and its positive educational and health impacts on the community. Kathryn Suiniak gave warm remarks about JFK, the creation of the Peace Corps and friendship. In my remarks, I referred to the Mossi proverb: "Ned faa ya a to kim" or each person is the medication for the next person. The school proviseur (head), Augustin, shared it with me a few days earlier. I shared with him Will Roger's quote: "I never met a man I did not like."
After the presentation, the villagers dug the holes for the swingset posts into which cement was poured, securing them for decades to come. As the cement was poured, many kids assembled around, figuring how use of the swing seats was to be shared between the classes at the school.
Kathryn had the idea to write the date in the cement for pictures and memories years from now.
I took pics and video.
Perhaps the swingset can be a quiet and remote, but thrilling monument to peace, independence and friendship. One week from inception to creation and installation, thanks to speedy action and good fortune on many fronts from Simeon to Shannon to Kathryn, Dabone the swingset fabricator and Megue Mayor and head of schools.
Friday, March 4
Lunch with with Denny's Friend Prosper
Had lunch at the home of RPCV Denny Fitzatrick's
friend Prosper. Joined by his wife and 5 children, we reminisced about Denny's visit with him on the same patio about 10 or so years ago. Prosper did a neat flip-flop with Denny by wearing a hat and shirt that he gave me to pass on to Denny with pics of same. We capped it off with a fun and emotional telephone call with Denny.
Saturday, March 5
50th Celebration BF-PC Logo Creation
By chance, I met PCV Kyle Hawk and gave him a copy of the FBF event logo card. He informed me that he was the guy that actually created the "BF/PC" logo that sits atop the card below the words "50th Anniversary". Thanks and credit to Kyle for this crucial contribution to the event!