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Highlights from a great day

Today was fabulous.

Part I: Unusual Productivity

1) Going to the commissariat (police station) to faire signer (legalize) a letter of invitation and a copy of my passport, and getting the whole thing done in about 30 minutes. Seriously. How did that happen? Then, scanning the document and getting it to upload without any problem. Sweet!

2) Holding a three hour meeting with Théo and Elsa of RIDEV, M. Njoko (SIT host father), and Zangue Paul (our project manager) to discuss all things Breaking Ground and RIDEV. These folks should all be given credit for their impressive attention spans.

3) Taking Marinette from la famille Nana to the hospital to start the process of figuring out why she's sick, and not having to wait for hours.

Part II: Visit to the Menouet River Bridge et la Chefferie Fotetsa

Chef Fotetsa, Lindsay, and Zangue Paul

Neither words nor photos can describe my arrival at the bridge today. During my multiple visits to the site in 2008, the gap between the two sides of the bridge seemed vast. The rickety wooden bridge constructed of fallen trees to allow motos and building materials to cross the river seemed itself to tower above the muddy waters of the Menouet. Today, however, standing on the finished concrete bridge, I peered down at what seemed to be a miniscule wooden plank across the water. While the finished bridge is the product of decades of planning and expert engineering, it seems almost to melt into the terrain. It is, simply, a bridge, one that you might drive over in the US without even noticing. It is only having seen it at its early stages that I can fully appreciate the complexity of its structure.

But in the villages of F4, it represents an enormous victory. The chiefs, villagers, engineers, and masons of the region overcame countless challenges to make the project a reality. In passing over the bridge on the way home to Dschang from Fotetsa, I developed one of those slap-happy grins that sticks around for hours. Felicitations, F4!

Miscellaneous photos from the day:

Zangue, in his element, explaining best practices in corn farming.

Kids of Fotetsa, who I secretly filmed video of while they played a joyful game of tag in the yard. Unfortunately, I can't upload the video without crashing the Internet in all of Dschang!

Sunset over F4

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