Le Pouvoir

Originally written July 5th

I know I’ve said it before but everyone here is crazy strong.  Wednesday, the masons started mixing and making “buton” or concrete and it was amazing watching them work.  Women carried wash bins full of gravel and sand back and forth while the men used hoes, shovels, and wheelbarrows to mix gravel, sand, cement, and water.  There were even people carrying 50 kg cement bags on their heads; that’s 100 lb resting on one neck!  I was in complete shock and felt so grateful to the community for coming out.  We could never finish without them!

Women carried gravel on their heads to where the masons worked
Women carried gravel on their heads to where the masons worked

The next day was July 4th and Charlie, the DukeEngage coordinator, invited us and our host mothers up to Kuwdé for a party.  Climbing the mountain took a really long time since there was so much mud and the path wound a lot.  The view was spectacular though.

Near the top, we decided to check out the case de santé, the small medical clinic that Charlie had asked us to check out.  There, they asked us to fix their lighting problem so Connor and I climbed up to the attic to check out the wiring.  We were utterly appalled at the state it was in.  There was bat and mouse poop everywhere and so many spiderwebs that they were sagging under their own weight.  Worst of all, the haphazard electrical wire webs had no order to the colors or connections.  After about an hour of fruitlessly trying to decipher what went where, we gave up and decided it’d be better to just rip out this system and completely start over some other day.

It's a hard hike but totally worth it!
It’s a hard hike but totally worth it!

Fortunately the rest of our night went better.  We ate at Tukenawé’s house and had a feast with rice, pasta, chicken, guinea fowl, green beans, fried cheese, sangria, red wine, and more.  Everyone had multiple servings of everything, and then we spent a while stargazing before heading back down to Farandé.

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Le Pouvoir

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