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Friday, October 10, 2014

Welcome Cohort 10!

Bonjour, Hello and Ni Yeebeogo from Burkina Faso, Tigoung Nonma cohort 10.

Introduction to the team!

We firstly have Alice McGonnell our team leader, she’s 24 and has been in Burkina now for a month already out of her 7 month stay. She’s from Reading and went to the University of Birmingham.
Francis and Achilles are our longest serving volunteers who have been working with Tigoung Nonma for 3 Months now; they are both from Ouagadougou. We also welcome a new national volunteer Ariane Mélodie. Mélodie studies Bilingual Administration and has previously worked in marketing in Ghana! 

On to the International Volunteers we have Heather and Lutangu (Tango for short) from the UK. We arrived on the 27th September and so we’re very definitely still getting used to Burkina in all its glory. I (Heather) studied Psychology at the University of York and Tango has just finished her masters in Diplomacy at the University of Nottingham. 

So now you have a brief overview of team Tiggy we’ll fill you in on the two weeks thus far:
It’s been mainly induction for all the volunteers and team leaders, learning about some cultural differences, comparing weddings, customs and relationships. We have met all of International Service's project partners and have had lessons in French, English and even a little bit of Moore which is the native tongue of Ouagadougou. I can assure you the Moore is not coming particularly naturally to me as a European speaker. Much to the amusement of some of the locals we’re all still giving it a good go: recently I’ve been informed “the words are right but my accent is awful”.

As far as the week in Tigoung Nonma is concerned we’ve been pooling new ideas with the suggestions from the last cohort and creating strategies for advertising, marketing and fundraising. It’s going to be hard prioritizing all we want to get done for the next ten weeks but it’s definitely doable. It’s been brilliant working with our partners at Tignoung Nonma and discussing with them how they would like to move forward. They have provided some invaluable advice and I think we are beginning to understand each other and how we can benefit the project. Alice learnt so much from shadowing Mary the last Team Leader and hopes to fulfill her new role successfully! We’ve got a lot of ideas and are starting to prepare for the theatre, arts and music festival Récréatrales taking place right on our doorstop at the end of October which we want to take full advantage of!

We UK volunteers are still getting used to the Burkina ways of life; it’s beautiful here but exceptionally red, sandy and HOT! It is however clear to see that the vast majority of the population live in what we consider to be extreme poverty.  The monsoon season is drawing to a close now so the humidity and storms are becoming less frequent and the heat and mosquitoes should subside as we head further towards December. At the moment the thing that we’re particularly getting used to are all the freely roaming animals, particularly goats and cows, but I imagine this time next week that will be second nature to us.

We’re all excited to be working with Tigoung Nonma and hope to see some good results. We’re really enjoying this cultural exchange so far-it really is an amazing opportunity!

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Until next week much Tiggy Love! x

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