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My stay in Burkina Faso

From November 18th, 2018 to January 20th, 2019 I stayed in Burkina-Faso. The aim of the trip was to share my computer skillswhile living a time of internationality in Congregation. I was plunged into another culture, another rhythm of life and prayers with my sisters: what touched me the most during these two months is their warm and caring welcome at the image of the persons encountered.

Living in the different communities of the Vice-Province was for me a great opportunity to see how well the sisters are inserted among their people and work among them.

- In Diébougou, I lived at the hostel "Marie Balavenne" which hosts girls from the 6th to the 12th grade. With Sister Mary who teaches English and Julienne in charge of the hostel, I lived with the rhythm of the returns of class and presence in the hostel. Another community, in Diébougou, that of Bagane, includes four sisters: Sylvie, Postulant Directress (young girls having expressed the wish of religious life), Marie-Rolande who works at the Diébougou Hospital, Valentina who teaches English and Evelyne who is studying in Bobo-Dioulasso. This community is hosting five Nigerian Postulants, full of life! In Phariyago, about thirty kms from Diébougou "on the tar" (as people say there for a tar sealed road), live in community, the sisters Nathalie who works at the health centre, Amélie who teaches English in high school and Eugénie currently studying in Gaoua. We all gathered on December 8th in Bagane for our Congregation Feast. In Internationality, -Burkinabe, Nigerian, Cameroonian sisters and me…. French-, during a prayerful and joyous celebration, we renewed our vows and shared a sisterhood meal.

The Christmas Holidays in Diébougou was for me a new way to discover the lively expression of joy of the Christians gathered in large numbers to celebrate Baby Jesus by singing and dancing !!!

- From Diébougou, I went to Koudougou, by car (241 kms - 150 miles from Diébougou) to join the community where live the sisters Lydie, school teacher, Alberta, nurse at the health center opened by the sisters of Briouze, Jermé student and Diane, sister of another congregation. There, I had the chance to find myself in the Family Daughters of the Holy Spirit, through the encounter of four Associates and a Lady preparing to enter in the Secular Branch with three other widows.

- At the end of my stay, I took the direction of Ouagadougou, by bus again (117 kms - 72 milesfrom Koudougou) to live one week with Sister Olga, Vice-Provincial, Sister Fatou bursar, Sister Clémentine student and Edith Postulant. Fatou made me discover Ouaga, the capital and the largest city of the country (2,5 millions inhabitants in 2015) with its big market and its suburbs witha very dense population. The day of Saint Hilaire where we celebrated the Base Christian Community by an open air mass, to the setting sun, I was able to meet some people….

I shared my computer skills with the sisters of these different communities but also, through courses in a happy atmosphere, with young students who have, on occasion, shared with me what they are living: I realized how difficult life is for them and how much courage they need to study, especially when they have so few hours of classes in a week!

After this Sojourn, today what came strongly in me is that our Charism is being woven with threads of different colours depending on the country and places we are sent to to serve our brothers.

A big thank you to the sisters of Burkina Faso who welcomed me in sorority and simplicity.

Sister Anne-Geneviève, from the Province France-Belgium-Holland. Published January 29th, 2019

Photos :                                                                                                     1) Laundry at the "Marie Balavenne" hostel                                                   2) December 8th, 2018 in Diébougou                                                             3) The computer training course with the young people                                 4) The "Marie Balavenne" Rose of the 350th anniversary, August 15th, 2017 in Burkinabes land.






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