Thursday, September 6, 2007

Tuesday, August 21

Today, we spent the first half in Depa. We had a gift-giving ceremony followed by the fantastic mask dance.

The "bamboo", used in construction and whose pithy center is very useful for model building, has been used to construct this model car. The doors, hood, and trunk open.

The chief of the village is holding a trophy made from the bamboo pith.

A fetching young woman who's doing some fetching.

Annika and Christiane. They came to attend the Mask Dance. Want to help combat child slavery in Côte d'Ivoire? We are soliciting funds to aid Annika and Christiane, who are building a hair salon and clothing workshop and will employ young women who have lost their parents in the last war and who would probably end up as prostitutes or working on the cocoa farms.

Young girls of Depa

Old man of Depa

Young mother

Three young women

Young lad going out to the rice fields. The slingshot is used to scare away birds.

The chief's wife.

The village waits in the gathering place and the chief arrives dressed in his regalia and flanked by two ministers. He is a "Chef des chefs", meaning that Depa is the chef-lieu for 152 other villages, and he is the main chief. This means that 152 other villages know what PH&F has done for Depa!

The Mask Dance starts.

After the Mask Dance, we presented the machetes (40) and t-shirts (10).

After the ceremony was over, we walked down to the toilet/shower, which had been constructed in April from funds contributed by Stan, Kate, and Mark.

Meanwhile, Mark was demonstrating his prowess with the stilts.

Preparing the evening foutou.

In mid-afternoon, we visited Zereguhe, which is only a couple kilometers from Depa. We have always tried to treat both villages equally--in order to minimize jealousy. This year, we built a WC in each village. Last year, we donated an equivalent number of boots. The year before, we gave each village a cocoa-weighing scale.

Like other villages, Zereguhe started with the music and dance entertainment.

The chief of Zereguhe.

And in the late afternoon, we had a ceremony in Pezoan, our last village. The chief of Pezoan pointedly asked that next year we spend the night in his village and that we consider building a bathroom there. The music and dance in both Zereguhe and Pezoan were exceptional. The chief of Pezoan paid me the ultimate compliment: by passing a live rooster around my body!

Passing the rooster around the body...

No comments: