Munya and I arrived in Burkina Faso about a week and a half ago. The first couple of days we spent book shopping together with Jen Lazuta, the Peace Corps volunteer with whom we work here. We were able to buy a lot of books, both African and non-African literature. Also, we were lucky to find books in the most spoken local dialect, Mooré. So, we ended up with a very good selection of books in Mooré, French, and English. It was very important to provide books in Mooré, not only to preserve the language, but also to give opportunities to women to read. Unfortunately, most village women aged 20 and above were never sent to school and could not learn French, which is the language of instruction. Many of them are currently learning to read in a Women’s Literacy Center in Bougounam, the village in which we are living.
A week ago we arrived in Bougounam, a village of approximately 2000 people. We live in a compound with around 100 people, who were very welcoming to us. Jen speaks very good Mooré; Munya and I are picking up little by little because it is respectful to the locals, plus they really enjoy when we try. The kids at the village are very sweet and all of them are very excited about the library. Despite that they are helping their families a lot with chores and field work, they find time to study hard. When I see them, I realize that our project is worth the effort and there will be children who will benefit from that.
This past week we have been working with the locals in order to make some repairs in the building they donated for the library. We had some troubles dealing with the masons, but we were able to find people who helped us out. In addition, we ordered new furnitures for the building. Hopefully, by the end of this week we’ll have settled everything down. Personally, I’m looking forward to working with the children and explaining to them how a library operates, because for many it is a new concept that they don’t really understand yet.