Friday, 17 February 2017

Bim Bim

Written by Mollie Cohen

Lots of time has been spent discussing, planning and researching for our awareness raising sessions, to be held on three different topics next week (sanitation, environment, and reforestation). We have been given some time during training sessions that APIL are running next week for our own training, which is a really exciting development considering the outcome of Mary and Dramane’s meeting with the coordinator last week. Despite the slow wifi, our major difficulty has been a complete overabundance of information and perhaps even too many ideas, which has made it difficult to squeeze everything in to our 3 hour time slots.
Quirky group shot - Khader, Dramane, Mollie, Sonia,
Josephine, Augustin and Sophie.
Tuesday was a remarkable day, not just for us, but for everyone across the globe. Tuesday was the day of love also known as Valentine’s Day. Our team decided to do something really cute and hold a ‘Secret Valentine’, much like (if not exactly like) ‘Secret Santa’ but for Valentines. On Monday we pulled names out of a laptop case – unfortunately Khader wasn’t wearing his new cowboy hat that day – and the maximum spend was set at 1,000CFA. On Tuesday evening we met at our favourite bar and enlisted the help of Cupid (aka Amy from Kabeela) to hand out the presents. Everyone seemed happy with their biscuits, sweets, and romantic cards. Dramane was most definitely the happiest, with his hand selected water sachet with a love poem taped to the front from Augustin.
Josephine and Mary both delivered stellar presentations on music from Burkina Faso and the UK on Tuesday afternoon as part of our cultural exchange. There were a few (questionable) attempts at singing national anthems, nursery rhymes and popular songs, where many of the UK volunteers realised that many of the songs we sing as children are actually quite dark. Josephine then treated us to some music videos of current popular music including; Hamed Smani, Imilo le Chancheux and Last King 226. Mary returned the favour with some Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, David Bowie, oh and some Skepta for fun. 

Dramane and Khader leading their
International Development session.
Khader and Dramane also led an interesting session for the team from the chapter of the ICS handbook, ‘Introduction to International Development’. They asked some quite unassuming questions that actually opened up quite big discussions. Everybody considered what they viewed to be the most important sustainable development goals created by the UN, and opinions of the World Bank. When the question opened up to opinions of aid, development and debt a really interesting discussion started on the legitimacy of large interest rates that are placed on developing countries as they are viewed as ‘high risk’ from big banks. Everyone who takes part in ICS has a passion for development work, but actually doing development work has opened everyone’s eyes to the realities that exist. 

The Bee Conference on Friday morning.

Eager beavers - Sonia, Sophie, Barry, Amy, Mollie,
Dramane, Augustin, and Mary.
On Friday we were invited to a conference that APIL were hosting regarding a new beekeeping technique developed by Ange Boyou. It was really interesting to see how local, national, and international community’s link together for the same cause. There were some notable attendees, including the Mayor of Ziniaré, a female representative of the Governor, and of course the APIL Coordinator. Also in attendance where two different news crews and cameramen – and all of our lovely faces (and of course our ICS t-shirts) have been featured on national T.V. While everyone was on a break, Khader pounced on Mr. Boyou and asked for an interview for the blog.

TIDBIT: There has been
one word that has been central to our lives for the past fortnight. There has been one key concept that has driven discussion forward. Every single person in Team APIL has had an opinion to share regarding this one significant word. 

That word is… “bim-bim”.
After an intense group conversation the UK volunteers discovered the true essence of bim-bim. The definition we have established so far, is as follows; bim-bim is the attractive jiggle of a bum, usually a large bum. Bim-bim is an adjective, not a noun, it describes the bum, it isn’t the bum
In addition, there is also a specific dance that shows off your bim-bim in a really delightful way, although I don’t think the UK volunteers have mastered it quite yet.

I would just like to thank Khader Hassan for the use of his laptop to formulate this blog post. Big up.

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