Our work at Tamesna was not yet done. We got the community together to create a management committee for the clinic. We have a very good reputation and as a result, are turning a profit beyond the cost of replacement meds and supplies so this money needs to be managed and the decisions as to what it is spent on made by vote. Elected president is Aminata Mohamed, treasurer Amouna Issouf and secretary Rabi Abderhamane (since she is the only one who knows how to write—next generation will be different) The school management committee will be decided after we leave since it is still early for all the parents to be back from migration—nomad schools usually start Nov. 1, but because I was there many of the kids who were already there started early. Part of the management committee’s job will be managing the school goat herd which we purchased as kids last year and are all about to have babies. They will produce milk for the school and offspring to sell. All this is part of turning it over.
We really need to be able to let more people settle nearby so that the community becomes more viable and self sufficient. Because of our excellent facilities many people want to come and be a part of it, but we have had to limit it because of lack of water. For this reason our fenced garden is now occupied by three ostriches. Sidi is trying to raise them in an effort to rehabilitate a once abundant population after being decimated by the two Tuareg rebellions when the warring factions had nothing to eat in the desert. I decided we needed to name them so meet Popeye, the male, left, and olive one of two females. The third, another female Sidi claimed naming rights and named her Danda after a young Wodaabe woman. Danda shows up for training programs every year—solar, traditional birth attendant, microcredit. For five years straight she has come with a new baby each year. Sidi is hoping the name will mean many babies for the ostrich too.
We said goodbye to our fantastic crew—and had fun giving them their own matrone certificates and french dictionary post it notes glued to their chests. (Becky and Pat are making an effort to learn French.) Alhassane was musique—and fumé—smoke