Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How to Make a Box Drum - Africa Style!

Drums are very poplar instruments used throughout Burkina. There are a variety of different styles of drums, but in the village church you will always find someone playing the box drum. With a box drum you play by sitting on the drum and using your hands and feet.
We recently made a box drum at the orphanage that was to be transported back to the U.S. Of course I documented this so that if anyone wanted to make their own they could follow these simple steps.
1. Make a wooden frame about 20 inches square.
2. Inspect your animal skin that has been soaking for at least 24 hours in water for imperfections. This is donkey skin and we were told it is the best to use for the box drum.

3. Find an old bicycle tire and trim off the sides.

 4. Place the animal sin over the wooden frame and trim off the excess. The skin should come down at least 8 inches over the side of the frame.

 5. With at least 4 people helping, stretch the skin tightly over the frame (hair side facing out) and nail the tire rubber in place to secure the skin.

 6. Now you can trim the skin so it is just below the rubber.

 7. The drum needs to sit in the sun for one day before you can shave the fur from the skin.

 8. When it has had several days to dry, you can start making sweet music.

IMPORTANT TIP: If you are wishing to transport a box drum on an aircraft, don't try to do it if your drum has had only one day to dry. The smell is pretty strong and will alert the dogs at airport security and they will confiscate your drum!

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Family with Big Hearts

We met Joseph Romero when he came out to Yako with a group of U.S. Military to help out with projects at the orphanage. Joe not only assisted with some hard physical labor, but he took time to play with the children and came back a few Saturday's to help us distribute TOMS Shoes to children in nearby villages.


Through the time Joe spent with us he was able to share with us a bit about himself and his family and their desire to add a child to their family through adoption. Before he left he began sponsoring one of the little girls in our primary school and his mother-in-law started sponsoring a young lady in our secondary school.

Joe with Jacqueline, the child their family sponsors

His family, back in the U.S. received a Sheltering Wings newsletter that had a story about the military group and the things they were doing at the orphanage. When they saw in this newsletter a small article about monies needed to provide Christmas gifts at the orphanage they were inspired to do some fund-raising. They held bake sales and were able to provide money so that the children could  each have a gift as well as new outfits made.

The Romero Family
Joe, Christie and their children Anthony, Alexis, Alissa, Alexander and Aiden 
We had a spectacular Christmas with the kids this year! We are thankful for the many families who have hearts like the Romero family and have generously given to children here in Burkina. Each smile we see on the faces of these kids is a testimony of your love.

Orphanage Kids and Staff at the Christmas Party