School has started, at last, even though a lot of the kids are still spending their days in the fields to bring in the last of the harvest. We haven't opened the new classroom yet, for two reasons- one is that the headmaster is insisting that he arrange a ceremony to appreciate all of the donors (that's YOU!), and he hasn't been able to find a date that all of the officials in the region can attend. (And I really hope that he never does, because I don't want a ceremony. But I'll do it, for him, because he says it's important. "This is Niger," he said, "and in Niger we have ceremonies".) So, okay. The second reason is that I've asked the contractor to return and do some more work on the doors, which were installed funkily and need some work. That should be cleared up by the time I get back next week!
Last month I talked with several women's leaders in the village to figure out a way to transfer the responsibilities that I've taken on to others, so that there is always someone to provide that supportive role to mothers. Narba and Ana, the main women's leaders, presented a plan to the larger community- about 200 women- and picked four women from the village (two from the east side and two from the west- they're so on it) to act as what I refer to in my head as The Baby Patrol.
Shaibou and Habi, each with Samsiya