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Deep Dark Well

The village of Boule sits on the dusty road from Tougan to Ouahigouya here in Burkina.  I’ve never actually been there yet the bus I take that eventually deposits me in Ouaga goes by this place.  At first glance it looks like a typical Sahelian village:  mud houses, awnings with millet stalks, fences of wood, and a deep, penetrating dryness.  Yet one doesn’t have to look too closely to see what looks like an oasis.  Yes, it’s a community garden.  And in this dry expanse of landscape in which there is not a single color other than “earth tone” there is an entire hectare of verdant, well cultivated gardens.  How do they do this?  They have a couple wells.  Seeing this is a startling reminder of the power of water and how so many goals can be accomplished by its introduction into the system.

I reference Bouse because it illustrates a successful utilization of resources in order to reach a common goal.  It is what I strive to achieve here in Koumbara with our moringa orchard.  In order to harvest the leaves year-round, we will need a well in our orchard to water the trees during the dry season.  That is simply a necessity.  Thus, we are in the process of finding those that are willing to dig such a well (the water is about 30 meters down through lateritic rock) and then we need to go about cementing it so that it will be functional for longer than just a few years.  In addition to watering to keep the leaves, having our own well will help in diverting our needs away from that of the current needs of the village.  Koumbara’s water resources are already stressed.  There are 2238 people in this village and just two pumps.  There are a multitude of wells but during the dry season a good portion of them do dry up.  If we are to water this orchard during the dry season, we cannot in good conscience stress the system in such a way.  I am working on getting a broken pump fixed here but this work takes time…

My group and I have just completed our tree nursery which will serve to protect our trees at their youngest stage.  It’s a great step for us as this is the first physical manifestation of our determination and motivation.  I have uploaded pictures to an album of simply that so you can see the construction from start to finish.

Lastly, I had the absolute pleasure of going to Festima 2012:  the Dedougou mask festival.  Words cannot describe how interesting the costumes and masks were.  They came from all over Burkina along with Mali and I believe some from Togo, etc.  I have uploaded an album of that as well.  Check it out!

I would also like to take this time to thank everyone who has sent me packages/letters so far.  I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to receive your gifts and they most certainly are appreciated.  So thank you Mom, Dad, and Nick, Aunt Jane and Cus, Sherry, Mia, Tyler (by proxy), and Aunt Tasia, Uncle Antonis, and my whole family in Greece.  Thanks so much!

I know this post might be a little short but it’s hot and I’m tired.  I hope all is well!  More to come soon.

J

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Discussion

One thought on “Deep Dark Well

  1. Jason,

    We are so sorry to hear about your little dog.We know how painful must be for you.We know exactly how you feel, because, as you know,one year ago we lost our Ektor.

    We readed the “Deep dark well” and learned about the effort you all do there to help people. We are so proud of you. We also readed your impressions of Festima 2012.Certainly it must be very interesting and you must feel very lucky to live all these wonderful things.

    Jason, we all send you our love from Greece.

    Posted by aunt Tasia | March 19, 2012, 6:32 PM

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Jason Tsichlis

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