Thursday, April 21, 2011

I suppose it's been a while, hasn't it? My Dad pointed out a couple of days ago that the link in my most recent post no longer works, so I suppose it's time for an update. The link is no longer active because we have finally raised enough money for the Béléhédé library, which is, of course, wonderful news to pass along. Through the Peace Corps Partnership Program, GlobalGiving, individual donations, and a generous grant from Friends of Burkina Faso, we have secured enough funding to go ahead with the grand opening next month and ensure that the library has enough money in reserve to function for at least a couple of years while FAVL continues working to transfer financial responsibilities for its libraries to the local government. I couldn't be more thrilled that this project has finally come together and the final steps, including buying books for the library, should be a lot more fun than hitting people up for money, however necessary that has been to ensure the project's success. So, thank you to everyone who has donated, and rest assured that, for the foreseeable future, I won't be harassing you with any more fundraising requests.

Now for another important update. As many of you may be aware, there has been significant unrest in Burkina Faso over the past couple of months, which came to a head last weekend when various contingents of the presidential guard, army, and police, as well as students and merchants, mutinied and protested over certain grievances, which resulted in the dissolution of the government. Burkina has a parliamentary system, so dismissing his cabinet is a perfectly legitimate step for President Blaise Compaoré to take. He has named a new prime minister along with a couple of other cabinet positions over the course of the week and we are expecting the rest of his new appointments to be announced soon. As volunteers working here by invitation of the Burkinabè government, on behalf of the U.S. government, we are not supposed to air our personal views about a host country's politics, so I won't do that here. I just wanted to reassure any of you who may have been worried over the past week that I am fine and feel completely safe at the moment. Peace Corps has handled the situation remarkably well and, other than a few tense moments last weekend, I haven't been terribly worried about my personal safety. As I write this, both Ouagadougou and the rest of the country seem calm and I am hopeful that they will remain so.

I don't anticipate having to leave the country before my planned Close of Service date in late July, for which I am thankful. While I know I've groaned at times about not having enough work to do, these last three months promise to keep me very busy, what with the opening of the library and a vacation to Senegal next month, which I've been looking forward to for months. So... fingers crossed, the current political situation will be resolved and I can continue on as normal for my last three months of service. While I haven't been great about updating my personal blog over the past few months, I more frequently update the FAVL blog, so if you're interested in reading more about what I'm up to, check out FAVL's website: .