Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Way back in February, Mom got a new kid to sponsor because one of her other sponsored kids turned 18, and he graduated from being sponsored.  The new sponsored boy is named Djibi, and he lives in Guinea Bissau.  Right away, you might be thinking, "Where in the world is Guinea Bissau?" Well, I will tell you.  It is in West Africa, right between Senegal and Guinea.  But if you don't know where those two countries are, then you still don't exactly know where Guinea Bissau is.  So I found a nice map for you to look at.  And while I was at it, I learned some interesting information about Guinea Bissau, and I'm going to tell you that information in my blog today.

But first I will tell you a little bit about Djibi, who is 7 years old.  He has a little sister who is named Fatumata, and she is 4 years old.  Djibi lives with his mom and his sister, but his dad is not around.  We don't know where he went, but it sounds like maybe he ran off and left his family, which would not be a nice thing to do.

Anyway, the family lives in a village, in a house made out of adobe bricks, and it has a corrugated metal roof.  Luckily, the family can get clean water from someplace called a "borehole," which is kind of like a well that is shared by a bunch of families.  If Djibi's family couldn't get water there, they would have to drink out of a stream or river, where there are lots of germs and icky things in the water, and this could make them sick.

A village in Guinea Bissau

There aren't any toilets or sewers where Djibi lives, so the family has to poop in a hole in the ground.  Also they don't have any electricity.  If they need to see a doctor, they have to travel for two hours to get to a clinic, and then the clinic might not have very many supplies.

Djibi doesn't go to school yet because they say he is "too young."  This might mean that there isn't a school near where he lives, since there aren't enough schools for all the kids in Guinea Bissau.  And the schools that are there are really rundown and crowded, and there aren't enough teachers and textbooks, so it's hard to learn anything.

Djibi and his uncle
Guinea Bissau used to be a Portuguese territory, but it became independent in 1974.  Ever since then, there has been a bunch of fighting and civil wars and coups and bad stuff like that. The people of Guinea Bissau finally have a democracy now, but their economy is pretty much a mess, so everybody is very poor.  In the rural parts of the country, people grow lots of rice to eat and cashews to sell.  The people who live in towns are mostly traders.  The average income per person is US$190 per year.  There is also a lot of sickness, including malaria, malnutrition, and HIV/AIDS.  The life expectancy is only 48 years, and 200 out of every 1000 children die before they get to be 5 years old.

I don't know if there are any basenjis in Guinea Bissau or not.  I have never heard of anybody going there to get any, but that doesn't mean there aren't any there.  What I do know is that the people are so poor there that they are probably more likely to eat their dogs than to buy nice dog food for them.  But I could be wrong, because maybe people go hunting, and they need dogs to help them do that.

Okay, well, here are a few more interesting, facts about Guinea Bissau.  The population is 1.6 million, and the country is about the size of Maryland.  The official language is Portuguese, but only 14% of the people speak it.  There are a lot of different ethnic groups in the country.  Djibi and his family belong to the Fula group, so they speak Fulani.  Also they are Muslims, which about 40% of the population are.  Another 50% follow native religions, and 10% are Christians.

Anyway, that's all I'm going to tell you about Djibi and his country.  Mom is sponsoring him through an organization called Plan USA, and she sponsors several other kids through that organization and two other organizations.  If you want to see Mom's SmugMug gallery of all her sponsored kids, you can go here:   I can't believe she made a gallery of all these kids, and she has never got around to making one of us dogs.  It just doesn't seem fair, somehow.


  1. I feel so bad for him! I am so glad your mom is helping out. I think their village is beautiful though,

  2. My heart goes out to Djibi, and I'm thankful your mom and other people donate or foster children. I wish everyone, who can afford to do so, would foster a child - that would be really great! I'm glad you mentioned your mom's "smugmug" as I haven't visited it for a long time. If there is a Basenji in the area that Djibi lives, and comes across Djibi's father, the father gets a nip/bite in his leg!! That's if he ran away from the family. I'm not to kind to run-away fathers/mothers, etc.,
    Love, AP

  3. Dear AP,
    The information we got about Djibi's father just said he was "absent," so we think he might have gone off and left the family, and if he did that, he should definitely be bitten on the leg by one of my distant basenji cousins! I'm glad you suggested that, and I am going to try to get in touch with them and tell them to keep a lookout for Djibi's father.
    Love, Piper