Today, I received my first traditional ovation from the villagers. These past two days, I’ve been attending a development meeting in my cartier (neighborhood). My village is made up of 10 separate neighborhoods and the meeting I participated last Friday was the neighborhood in the center of town, separate from mine.
I was really glad to be at these meetings this week. The people conducting the meeting aren’t from the village. I believe they are sent here by the government, or along the lines of that. It has been immensely helpful for me to be there as the villagers brainstorm and flesh out problems they face. Not only does it help me become acquainted with the people, it also gives me ideas for projects.
Anyhow, I had to leave the meeting early today to go teach at the school. In the morning, I asked the guy conducting the meeting to give me a few minutes to talk before I leave. So, there I was, in front of over 100 villagers, I talked to them about my role as a volunteer in the village, in French. Just four months ago, I dreaded giving presentations in English in front of no more than 20 people. The guy in charge reiterated what I said to ensure full understanding. When I was finished, the villagers gave me their traditional ovation consists of different clapping rhythms and sayings in patois. It’s so cute!
A guy told me he wants to talk to me about a NGO next week. I met with the lady who’s involved with both of the women’s GICs in village, and is the president of one of them. She showed me where the meeting takes place, and I’ll be there Monday morning! At the school today, I talked to the principal and there is a need for drinking water for the kids and a library. Mission this weekend is to research how I can get those two projects going! Hopefully my eternal amount of free time is coming to an end! Thank heavens!