Project Gandiole, Kindergarten playscape
June 8, 2015
The last days have seen an amazing and colourful transformation of the whole project. While outside we are in the middle of many last details it is busy inside the kindergarten building. A group of women is preparing traditional drinks and heaps of deep-fried snacks to have a little celebration. Senegalese lunchtime is quite late, somewhere between 2:00 and 3:00 pm. Until then we have the sun beating directly overhead and we test the shade sails with Bamba and Babacar.
Bamba Fall is boatman, gardener and coordinator of the Aide Gandiol projects. We discuss the work that is left to finish the garden and the maintenance that will follow. With his help and guidance the kindergarten staff should eventually be able to take care of the garden independently. We imagine how the place will look when the plants have grown bigger.
During the project the young Babacar Mbaye has proven to be smart and motivated. He has agreed to be the ‘handyman’ for all the play objects we have made together. We are very grateful he is in charge whenever something needs to be fixed. Together we conclude that the semi-shade that the sails offer is very comfortable and also gives beautiful patterns on everything it covers.
With more than twenty people we have lunch in the kindergarten building with most of us sitting on the tiny chairs with matching tables, a great sight. There are more fataya than we could ever eat and as usual the drinks are extremely sweet. We thank everybody who was involved and the director Fatou Bintou talks about the project and gives us presents. The clapping is accompanied by chanting and any odd object turns into a drum. We dance and laugh knowing that our ridiculous attempts at copying their dance moves is the best way to thank them.
Fatou Bintou has grown into the project as it evolved. Watching the work and thinking along she was still overwhelmed by the the final result. She never imagined something like this and is very proud. It is now up to her to take ownership of the project and she is aware of this responsibility.
With the playscape done the kindergarten building looks rather run down. Aide Gandiole has decided to refurbish and repaint the building. To maintain the garden and upgrade the toilets water will be installed, (during construction it was given by the neighbouring primary school). After the summer an official opening is planned. We look forward to seeing everybody again and finding out how our work stands the test of being used in many unforeseeable ways.