Posts Tagged ‘Photos


Morning Commute



Mask Festival – FESTIMA 2012

Last week marked the 14th edition of Dédougou’s FESTIMA (Festival International des Masques et des Arts de Dédougou). The event is held every two years and while there are other mask festivals around, FESTIMA is unique in that it shows off many different styles of masks all at the same time in the same place. Masks were mainly from Burkina, but groups from Benin, Togo, and Mali were also involved. Most of the spectators were from the immediate area, but the festival did draw some groups of international (mostly French) tourists.

Griotsalong with other musicians, would bring the masks to life with their music – usually drums or a flute-type instrument. Each group, composed of griots, musicians, three to eight masks and a few others would perform at a time. Most masks represented animals while others represented spirits from the bush. It is said that once the performer dons his mask (women are not permitted to wear masks) he becomes the animal/spirit he is wearing. Locals told us that it often helps that the performer is a little tipsy.

Check out some of my favorite images from the festival below (and thanks to Hayley, who borrowed my camera for a few of these shots as I was trapped in the office during parts of the week). I’ll get some of the great video footage up once I get suitably fast internet.


Friday Photo: 8 Mars

Each Friday I’ll serve up a photo and give you the story behind it. This week a few girls from Ouahigouya show off their woman’s day  outfits.

Yesterday was International Woman’s Day, an official holiday here in Burkina. Each year a traditional pagne (fabric) is released to commemorate the day, and a few girls I passed on the road relished in showing off their new outfits. For more on international woman’s day and women’s importance in microfinance, check out this great post on CGAP’s blog.


Friday Photo: Moringa Knocks Out Malnutrition

Each Friday I’ll serve up a photo and give you the story behind it. This week, Moringa Man and Woman take on malnutrition.

Photo credit: SookFan Simpson

PCVs dressed up in costumes at last weekends softball tournament to promote the use of moringa. As you can see, a healthy dose of moringa powder gets rid of that pesky malnutrition.

What are moringa’s benefits, you ask?

“Moringa is one of the world’s most nutritious crops. Ounce for ounce, the leaves of moringa have more beta-carotene than carrots, more protein than peas, more vitamin C than oranges, more calcium than milk, more potassium than bananas, and more iron than spinach.” -AVRDC


SOFANWET 2012 Softball Tournament

Remember last year’s softball tournament? Well, I headed back into Ouaga last weekend to help defend our title in the 2012 edition. Sadly, we lost in the championship game, but the tournament was a lot of fun. There’s no other event in Burkina that feels so American, and it was nice to feel at home again. Check out some photos from the weekend:


Friday Photo: Voodoo Fetish

Each Friday I’ll serve up a photo and give you the story behind it. This week, a voodoo fetish under my neighbor’s front door.

My neighbor hasn’t been in town for sometime and has as placed this voodoo fetish under his front door to protect his home from theives while he is away. I think it’s a chicken, though I’m not sure. Either way, it’s a bit startling to look at and caught me off guard when a visiting friend pointed it out.

It’s often said that Burkina Faso is half Muslim, half Christian and 100% animist. As a result, despite all of the churches and mosques, it isn’t rare to see many Animist traditions on display (such as the sand reader I wrote about earlier). Voodoo fetishes can be found throughout Burkina’s markets, though here in Fada it’s the weekly Sunday cattle market where I’ve seen the largest collections of items such as dried dried chameleon bodies and an assortment of other unrecognizable (to me) bones. Apparently the practice is even wider in Ghana, Togo and Benin.


Friday Photo: Latrines Everywhere

Each Friday I’ll serve up a photo and give you the story behind it. This week, latrine covers in waiting.

Improving sanitation by building latrines is an important and necessary task in developing countries. However, this particular project illustrates some of the standard problems in development work. Hundreds of latrine covers were made, but have not been used. Instead, for whatever reason implementation has been delayed and they have been sitting in this courtyard for months.

For more on why sanitation is so important, here are a few reasons from Robert Chambers.

…[S]anitation and hygiene matter much more than most people realise. Where they lack, the effects are horrendous.  Faecally-related infections are many.  Everyone has heard of the diarrhoeas and feels outrage at over 2 million children killed by diarrhoea each year. We hear about cholera outbreaks.  But  who hears about the guts of 1.5 billion people hosting greedy parasitic ascaris worms, about 740 million with hookworm voraciously devouring their blood,  200 million with debilitating schistosomiasis or 40 to 70 million with liverfluke? And what about hepatitis, giardia, tapeworms, typhoid, polio, trachoma…?


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The opinions on this blog are only those of the author, and and do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.