Lac du Bois - Bemidji Blog

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Journée Abidjan

Published: August 10, 2019

Explo de Dakar presenting to the audience

Bonjour ! Hello! Can you name the five most populous French-speaking cities in the world? Paris ranks near the top, but you might have been tempted to name French cities like Marseille and Lyon. If you did, you have forgotten the vast francophonie that spans the globe! The biggest is Kinshasa (DR Congo), followed by Paris (France), Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire), Montréal (Canada), and Dakar (Sénégal). We're lucky and honored to have counselors native to three of these five francophone megacities! This morning, we also said goodbye to our one-week villagers in a cérémonie de fermeture (closing program), where they presented what they had learned during the week to friends and family. 

The navigateurs on their trail

This afternoon we went on a walk to discover the project that our navigateurs (four-week non-credit villagers) have been working on during the session! This project was creating and maintaining a trail through the woods, called Chics-choc, as well as painting signs for the entrance. This trail will help to connect different parts of the Lac du Bois site, and also includes a space for camping and a campfire! 

"Buying" food at the maquis

Today's theme was Abidjan, and we discovered this great city with the help of Ivorian counselors Georges and Mambo. We experienced Ivorian cuisine, including an entrée of foutou (a dish of mashed plantains) with a peanut butter sauce characteristic to West Africa. The real pièce de résistance, however, was our evening: we simulated a maquis, a uniquely Ivorian kind of open-air restaurant full of music and dance as well as food and drink. Each table "paid" for our dishes with CFA francs, but this money wasn't quite enough—we also had to sing éloges (praises) to certain counselors to earn more money, in the tradition of the West African griots. This extra money helped us buy bissap, a juice from hibiscus flowers, and grotto, a special kind of yogurt. We ended the evening with a dance to celebrate the end of the week! 

To music and maquis


Click here to see more photos from today!