Day 3 of fourth trip, February 14th, 2011

The day started early with breakfast at the Grand hotel and then a short ride to the ICRISAT facility in Niamey, just across the bridge. Here we met with 14 people from the Ministry of Education, NGOS VIE and FAO, and ICRISAT reps and others to discuss the curriculum of the Farmers of the Future and how to proceed. It was a lively discussion chaired by John, from Eliminate Poverty Now  whild his wife Judy took notes….a task I did not envy, as we had simultaneous translation and the difficulty in capturing the essence of the discussion while listening to two voices is tough. Hats off to Judy. John did a masterful job of weaving everyone’s comments together and it will be interesting to see how it all unfolds. Tomorrow we meet again and then do field trips to our pilot site in Libore and also to another school run by another NGO VIE where the students have started microgardens in their classrooms.  After the meeting we were met by Ramatou, the former Mayor’s daughter, and heard also that Gaston’s mother passed away yesterday. Given all that he was going through, Gaston still showed up to say hello yet again, troubled that we had travelled so far and he would not have time to spend with us. Thisman has such depth of character and compassion. I asked to go with him to pay my respects to his family and he took me to his mom’s house to meet with his family. Then a late dinner to debrief with John and Judy….during which Amadou Madougou the former Mayor dropped by to say hello again!!

Off to bed as we wake tomorrow at 6am to start our meetings very early. This is because the students in Niger are demonstrating in the streets tomorrow to remember the students who were killed many years ago in a student demonstration.  It is a memorial to them, so the streets will be crowded. It is expected to be peaceful.

As for my problem re the well in Ecole Centre, we have begun already to come up with options and solutions. Stay tuned…..we will make some decisions once we speak with Dov. 

A good day!

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