Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cohort 3 - Blog 4

Hello! Here’s an update to let you know what we’ve been up to at UGF/CDN of late. Our marketing plan for the dried mango is progressing well, and we’ve taken two trips into Koudougou to speak to the various hotels and supermarkets to whom we hope to be supplying dried mango very soon!

Some of us have also had the chance to attend awareness-raising sessions, which are run by UGF/CDN on a variety of different issues including how to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, how to combat child malnutrition, and ideas for preventing malaria. They are held in the surrounding areas of rural Reo, and are generally given to groups of local women. We feel immensely privileged to have been able to see the work of UGF/CDN in action like this. The sessions themselves are run in an inspiring, interactive way. The session leaders and the attendees sit under the shade of a mango tree, and the session takes on the form of a friendly discussion, with plenty of visual aids and time for people to ask questions. We hope to have the chance to attend some more of these sessions before our placement here is over.

In non work related news, one of the daughter of one of our host families got married at the weekend! It was a brilliant day to be a part of. Our Tanties had bought us all matching pang so we could have clothes made in the official fabric of the day.  Serge and Samuel had shirts made, and the rest of us wore various dresses and traditional outfits. Serge DJ’d, and Emily and Aminata had been helping out in the run up to the day itself, making cakes, helping with the food, and typing up badges for the family to wear. The wedding started at 8am with the legal ceremony, then we all went onto the church for the religious service. Once that had finished, we made our way back to the house and the party began! The music and dancing was non-stop, and there was lots of delicious food and drink. We had a chance to have some dolo, the local millet beer, and some fermented bissap, a fortified wine made out of hibiscus flowers. We all had a lot of fun and it was great to be at an event which was so central to the community in which we’ve been working.

All in all, our time here continues to be an adventure. We’ve all bonded well as a team, and have had the chance to take part in lots of discussions and cultural exchanges. We’re looking forward to the next few weeks!

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