Godjiboué, December 2017
By Elisabeth Stava
Yesterday we got to experience how unpredictable life in the village can be. We left our homes in Abidjan at 07.00 with hopes of arriving in Godjiboué in the early afternoon. Leaving Abidjan did not go as planned, it eventually took us 3 ½ hours before we could leave with the bus to our pit-stop, Lakota. We arrived in Lakota around 14.00 and from there we were going to take motorcycles to Godjiboué, a trip that takes approximately two hours. The only problem was that in Godjiboué, everyone had run out of gasoline. Which meant that the people there could not come to Lakota to pick us up. With several other attempts of taking bus or car, which did not lead through, we decided that the best thing to do was to sleep over in Lakota.
Early next morning at 06.00 we got up and at 08.00 we were finally ready to leave. The trip went very well and finally around 10.00 we could once more say hi again to all the people in Godjiboué.
Similar to the last visit, we started off by meeting with the chief in the village along with other interested people. We talked more about the project and our progress. Then we went through the contract, that each family in Godjiboué will sign to officialize that they are part of the project. Different representatives from the village were given these contracts and went out to collect signatures. At the end of our meeting, the chief was so happy with the project that he offered us a hen, a sign of gratitude and welcome. The women prepared it with a delicious, traditional tomato sauce and we ate it the same evening.
This time of the year there is an important event occurring for the villagers. The harvesting of cocoa. All around the village you can see big covered areas that are full of the dried cocoa. Men and women are working together to put all the cocoa into bags that will be transported to Abidjan and then exported out of Ivory Coast. This means that this is the perfect time to start electrifying the village, as many people here very soon will have more money at hand to start the downpayment of the solar systems.
It was quite inspiring being in Godjiboué this time, to talk more to the people there that are becoming friends. Hearing them expressing how happy they are for the project and the fact that very soon will have access to electricity. Word has spread around to neighbouring villages leading to visit from three representatives from different villages that wanted us to start the project in their villages as well. This of course gives a sense of purpose and acknowledgement of what we are doing, as well as a drive to move forward and continue working hard to ensure we can expand our work and projects. We hope that you are ready to support us in this. Next blog post from Godjiboué will be in January when we start installing solar panels, we can´t wait!