Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekend Girls' Camp at my site!

Ahh yes, Weekend Girls' Camp #2 chez moi! We continued using the same four themes: Life Skills, English, Health and Sports.

Preparing for the camp was a little less insane at my house -- organizing the middle school visit; organizing the ridiculously huge task of feeding 22 people (may not seem like much but damn, do these kids eat a lot!); preparing the school; talking with guest speakers and school officials; dealing with my corrupt school director (long story short, the moment he found out I got a grant for this Girls' Camp, he straight up asked me for money because he deserved it and that because I was using the school. WTF?! You're obviously new and don't know that I work for the school too, douchebag. Ugh. Excuse the angry sentiment...); etc. So it was a lot of running around and calling people to prepare...

On Saturday morning, Jon and his 10 girls arrived at my site. What's crazy is that many of my girls are children of fonctionnaires (civil servants) that have salaried jobs. So they've had more of an opportunity to travel around Burkina Faso and have a little more means. Not so much the case for Jon's girls, which is why it was such a treat for them especially to come to my site!

We headed straight for the Collège (middle school) which is fortunately within walking distance. They JUST built it andit looks brand spankin' new! I had their Director, a very nice man named Mr. Meda, give them a little tour and encourage them to continue their studies to the secondary level and beyond. When we went back to the school, we continued the Life Skills activity on creating goals and objectives in life, which actually turned out really well!

Regarding Health activities, we focused on proper handwashing and Moringa/its nutritional value. Maybe it seemed a little like class but our hope is that they learned something that they'll carry with them. We also invited my friend, Koro, who works at the CSPS (village medical center) as a sage-femme (midwife?) to give a session using an image flipbook that I had on HIV/AIDS...clearly a very sensitive subject but something that definitely needed to be addressed. Never too early, especially here in Burkina Faso/Africa!

We did a little English this time around and the Sports focus this time was soccer which EVERY child in Burkina Faso -- heck, all of Africa -- enjoys! These girls are good!

All in all, an excellent final weekend followed by handing out Certificates of Participation and a grand group photo.

All right, enjoy the pictures, round 2:

Jon, Mr. Meda (middle school director) and the girls after their little field trip to the middle school. When Mr. Meda talked to the girls about the importance of working hard to get to the secondary level and seeing how different the environment was (and how new the school was!) got them really motivated. I started seeing lightbulbs flickering!

My 10 girls and I at one of the entrance signs to my site.

Talking to the girls about proper handwashing and why it's important to use water that's either running or tossed on your hands AND soap. The two girls to the right (Adissa and Aicha) are so ridiculously intelligent, it's inspiring.

We did this experiment with three girls and fabricated stories to make it interesting. The first girl went to play soccer out in the field and ended up touching the ground a lot. The second girl simply was in class all day. The third girl just washed her hands after using the bathroom. The idea was to have each of the girls was their hands with soap and water in the small white basin and show that washing your hands with running water is extremely important, but most especially with soap and by rubbing your hands to get rid of all the germs.

Jon conducting a cool English game where the girls race to draw a specific object and then they learn the translation in English.

My good friend Koro from the CSPS, using the image flipbook to discuss HIV/AIDS -- who it concerns, modes of transmission and ways of prevention. A very successful presentation; hopefully she can come again for a final Girls' Camp I'd like to host before leaving this year!

First group picture at my site.

Ali leading the girls in soccer. Damn, they're good and many of them have never played before in their lives!

A special dinner treat out at a restaurant in town.

Moringa and nutrition presentation.

After the presentation, we went outside and the girls made their own Moringa nursery that they could take home and grow by themselves.

After packing the empty water sachet with dirt, we watered it a little to get the soil moist.

Then we put in a couple of seeds to ensure that if one doesn't grow, the other will.

A really good picture of Alimata (one of the girls in my Girls' Club). Good job, Jon!

Explaining that when they get home, they need to poke two holes in the bottom to let the roots breathe and have excess water leave. That way, it'll be easier to transplant it to the ground.

Clémence and Franck helping bring the food over. Mmmm!

Madame Hien and Ali preparing the salad -- a real treat since it's lettuce season right now and not too far from my house, either. Holla!

Jon with the massive amounts of food. Rice with eggplant and fish sauce (sounds weird but it really, really good!) and salad with onions and spices. A true feast!

Jon and I with our 20 girls and their Certificates of Participation. A final picture!

Jon and I after the Camp...exhausted but well worth it. =)

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