You scream, I scream, We all pick up trash!

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International Day of Nelson Mandela brought several volunteers out to fulfill a request by the South African Embassy.  They requested that in celebration of International Day of Nelson Mandela (July 18), local groups and other embassies gather members to go around selected locations and pick up trash for 94 minutes (the age of Nelson Mandela).  In Ouagadougou we had more than 100 participants gather at Ouaga 2000 (one of the selected locations for trash pickup).  There I participated with members for the Burkinabe Fulbright Alumni, the Embassy of Japan and the Japanese volunteers of JICA, a small number of United States Embassy workers, local schools, and individual participants.  The sun was shining and there was a gentle breeze.  We started at 8 am in the morning and finished around 12 noon.  The opening speech was made by Siaka Gobe the assistant of operations at the Embassy of Japan.  His speech was followed by the current Ambassador of Japan Tsutomu Sugiura. Mr. Sugiura gave great words of encouragement and inspiration as he connected our small act of picking up trash to the great community service Nelson Mandela gave to us all (time spent in prison for the freedom of his country). Our small act was seen by many that morning and a great stride in simple humanitarianism.  There was great banter among the participants. Everyone was in good spirits. Together we gathered more than 20 large rice sack sized bags of trash. At the end of the 94 minutes a local bakery served sandwiches and drinks. Afterwards the bags of trash was collected by the city waste management and taken away.

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