Tuesday, 13 June 2017


We made it! Somehow in a flash, it is now half way through the placement. The first week had felt like we had been here for months, and now we have really been here for a month. Whack bang in the middle of the placement, we have a mid-term day. It is more exciting than you think. Unfortunately we were too distracted to take pictures.

Being the first lucky cohort in Loumbila, we were the proud presenters of the location of the mid-term. AML has vast land with nice facilities for the offices and classrooms for learning, including spaces to even accommodate farmers and pupils to stay overnight unfortunately this doesnt happen much anymore because of the lack of funds. We even have a mango tree very close to our office!

Our team, or Laagum taa-ba as we call ourselves, decided to arrive early at the office at 9am to be ready for their arrival at 9:30am. After all these weeks of seeing the same faces it was exciting waiting for the other volunteers to share their host family and placement stories. We tided our office and waited with mixed feelings of excitement, anticipation and wonder.

At mid-term we accommodated for APIL, KABEELA and HSB. One of the teams came early, and we all ran to see them and hugged them with joy. This was repeated for each of the teams. Everyone was bubbling with stories; the air was filled with laughter and jokes. After short introductions, we were hustled into one of the larger rooms for breakfast. AML had polished their teacups and saucers for the hot drinks, and filled our bellies with tasty pastries brought from the bright lights of Ouagadougou. Following the itinerary again, we moved into a grand room used for meetings.

In this room, International Service leaders gave the formal introductions of the day. Then each of the team leaders proudly gave a presentation of the work that they have already completed and the plan for the rest of the placement. For our Laagum taa-ba team/AML, this included the IT and sexual health surveys, the IT and English lessons to the community, the IT and English lessons for the AML staff, the success of raising awareness about sexual health, setting up social media and more. We then went back into our teams to reflect with our work with our partner organisation (in our case AML). Then it was time for lunch.

Lunch was gladly welcomed by everyone, it would have got a 5 stars review, alongside a selection of drinks including the local drink bissap made lovingly by the AML staff. After this we were given some activities to complete in groups regarding the successes and challenges that we faced in various topics such as host homes, as well as thinking about human rights based approach to development. Sadly, time is always the enemy and it was the end of the day. We had other activities planned but there wasnt enough time! Seeing the teams go one by one, whilst being the team that was staying was torture. However, it had been a fantastic day, and everyone was still buzzing as they loaded onto the bus.

And there we have it. The mid-term day was over, and we commenced our lives again to continue to make a difference to our local community, to create new stories and memories to tell our friends and families at the end of the placement.  

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