Posted by: cgross1 | December 6, 2010

60K Weekend, and December!

Happy Holidays everyone!! I can’t believe that the first week in December is almost through! I hope that everyone is healthy and looking forward to some time off from work and school for Christmas!

Things have been very busy here, as always. This weekend two other trainees and I went to visit another volunteer 30k outside of our training city. It was very fun, and highly productive! We biked the 30k into the volunteer’s village, which was not a bad ride at all – we went in the morning so it was relatively cool, and the ride was quite beautiful – we were able to see a lot of the African ‘countryside’, which looks very much like New Mexico! We made liquid soap with a women’s group who is interested in starting to make liquid soap and sell it in their local market. We worked out a cost/benefit analysis for the women to demonstrate the profit that they could make if they produced liquid soap. We also were able to sensibilize them on the uses and importance of using soap for sanitary and hygienic reasons, which was awesome, since I am told that sensibilizing is a major part of volunteer life.

We also visited some onion fields of the work partner of the volunteer we were visiting (15k away – we went by bike – lots of exercise this weekend!). We helped transplant some baby onions from the field where they plant them very closely together into larger spaces where they will have more room to mature. Onions are a major source of income here for this region in Burkina. If farmers can grow in the off season (during the winter), they can make a large profit for produce versus right after the harvest (October).

In addition, we crushed moringa leaves to make powder. Moringa is a local tree. The leaves have a very high nutritional value. The powder can be added to any sauce/meal to add nutrition, and does not really affect the taste of the dish. Also, the uncrushed leaves can be used to make sauces.

It was a very full weekend!

I have less than two weeks until I am affectated to my site! I am excited and a bit nervous. I will have some shopping to do in the capital to stock up on supplies for my kitchen! Hopefully I will be able to find most everything else I need in village for food and furniture – I am ready to get settled in!

I hope this finds everyone in good health!

Until next time,



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