Burkina Faso Hotel Air Conditioning

Burkina Faso Hotel Air Conditioning
Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I am living in a red clay cave for 5000 CFA or 10 US Dollars.

The first Hammock I have seen in Africa is here in Bobo.

I have never thought of Air Conditioning as a solution, however, as I lie here in bed analyzing my present non-AC room, I thought,
- Air Conditioning is the answer. -

I French West Africa to request an Air Conditioned room, I need to say,
- Climatisé. -

I was making a list of small problems in my room when the answer popped in my head,
- Air Conditioning. -

Then I started to laugh; Air Conditioning is the solution to a plethora of Hotel room problems. I would not say I respect owners of Hotels, or the management of Hotels, I could best say I avoid having long conversations with the management of Hotels, it probably is Biblical in nature,
- Lead us not into temptation -

My Mother and Father I hope are happy, their talk too much, opens his mouth and embarrass them son has finally learned to keep his mouth shut.

I am in a GREAT Hotel room in Bobo, Burkina Faso, the overall in-compared-to-other-rooms I am in a very good room. I love to read the ludicrous emails I receive on recommendations of great hotels. The person will write and tell me about this wonderful great room in some exotic country like Thailand, going into blah blah blah and then finally I learn the price of the room was 350 US dollars per night or about one years pay for the normal world.

Strange as it sounds, I can find Air Conditioned rooms in Burkina Faso and most of West Africa easier than I can find fan rooms. The world is full of business travelers, people on luxury two week vacations, NGOs who are not on a budget, normally spending someone else’s money.

The average person in West Africa may have never stay in a Hotel in their life; many of the girls know a room for one hour. The rooms in West Africa are designed for people who are rich compared to the average person, for example ME. I am outrageously rich compared to the average Burkina Faso person.

I earn about 95 times the Average yearly wages of a Burkina Faso person, if the person next to you earned 95 times more than yourself, you would think, this person is super-rich. I am super-rich compared to the average West African person.

Therefore, the Hotels rooms have AC and cost 10-40 US and not 1 dollar per night or a price the Average Burkina Faso person could afford.

I am in a great fan room, however my list of problems with the room makes me think Air Conditioning is the simple solution.

I am living in a red clay cave.

Ok, it is not a cave; I think a cave needs to be below ground level or maybe in the side of a mountain.

My great room is inside the left part of this building made of clay.

- large underground hollow: a large, naturally hollowed-out place in the ground, or in rock above ground, that can be reached from the surface or from water. -

I am in an above ground cave, made out of red clay, with a couple of holes to so I can breath.

I just went and talked to John, and returned to my bed, and decided, enough is enough; I open the door and the window to allow this cave to breath. I walked in last night at around 9:00 PM and instantly thought,
- Dank -

I was wrong, not the dictionary correct word to use, it is not cold, my room was warm and humid because when I left the room, I locked it up, closed the window, when I returned to my cave it was humid.

Look at small hole above window. There is this small hole at the top of the room, I hope to learn why? Why is there one small hole at the top of the room?

The naturally cool room in a Hotel is on the bottom floor, and beneath a few floors of concrete, with no sunlight. The problem with room is how do you breath, a person starts to suffocate and has this real inclination to climb out of the hole and find a place with air.

Burkina Faso people are smart, they construct home out of red clay colored dirt, and then make the ROOF of clay, and essentially, it becomes an above ground cave. There is a real danger, if one of these roof fall in on a person they can be killed. When I was in Bolgatanga, Ghana it was raining and one of the young women cooking was telling me the rain kills people, because the homes collapse and kills the occupant of the cave.

My room is great, it is clean, it has a fan, I have my own private toilet and shower and there is a courtyard with hammock and chairs. I also have a kitchen to use; however, I am supposed to donate money for propane if I use the burners, price confusions because they never rent the rooms. I am sure, I am one of the few people who has rented a room and there are no clear and established prices for room benefits.

I am living at a Slovenia friend of mine Tito, I met him in Ghana as normal he is on a Mission, semi NGO, or Project, the sign says
- Humanist

- concern for people: a concern with the needs, well-being, and interests of people.

This is probably a 7 on a 1-10 scale of projects, I so far think a very good project, and at least I have not seen the managers driving 4-wheel drives around. They have a library for the people to use and help with textiles, and somehow people sponsor and pay for school fees for children, everything is on the up and up and seems great.

One-way for a project to supplements their overhead is to rent rooms to Foreigners, they call me Foreigner, and my name in Bobo is
- Tubabu (Che) -
In Ouaga my name was
- Nassara -

Looks like the stereotype door to a cave. This place is great, and if you leave the window and door open a reasonable good value for 5000 CFA or 10 US for a person with a car. You need a car as this is about 3 Kilometers or more from the Central Market, however cultural immersion is guaranteed. I do not have a car, so I will move to the city in a day and stop the long hoof or fights with taxi drivers.

AC is a solution to a list of Hotel Problems:

1. Keeping the bugs and mosquitoes out of the room, because you do not have to open windows.
2. Damp rooms
3. Fans that are loud, the new type of AC is quiet.
4. Having to rent a room on the bottom of a building to be cool.
5. You do not need a mosquito net.
6. Privacy because you close the windows and doors.
7. Quiet because the windows are closed.

I never thought how AC is a simple solution to a hotel needing to be designed well and located in a quiet neighborhood.

I am in a nice quiet neighborhood, far from the central city and a great food market is around the corner. A semi-ideal location for a person driving a four-wheel drive, and wants to park the car. More or less easy to find in a car at the end of Sector 21 before a Yellow Mosque.

The room is typical construction methods of Burkina Faso and clean and interesting sleep in a clean version of the local Burkina Faso Architecture and building design.

Burkina Faso Hotel Air Conditioning


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Hey Andy,

Good photos, and the place looks well kept. What stuck out to me in your post was the clay roofs that collapse when it rains issue. I'm sure it's not a problem in the dryer winters, but knowing this I'd have a hard time sleeping in a heavy rain!

Air Con; I often think innovative ventilation methods can also provide a solution to indoor comfort.

In Gando Village, Burkina Faso theres a school design that won an architecture award in 2004 and utilizes a very interesting roofing technique that allows cooler air to pass under a roof and over the entire ceiling structure. They did use "compressed earth blocks" in the ceiling but with this design the roof would shield the earth blocks from erosion and avoid the roof collapse problem.

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2004


I do hope HoboHideout.com gets full of info soon.
The 'moins cher', or least expensive hotel you can book online in Ouagadougou, Burkino Faso is $103 USD at the Mercure Silmande. It does have all the cofforts for the NGO vacationer though. A/C, shuttle from the airport, and views of the lake.
What a racket!!

I am interest to find this house that won an award. I will try to find it on a map.

Refusal to use a mosquito net because homes are too hot kills many people when they get Malaria.

The best room would be a steel roof with a clay on top, this one now has steel on top as it leaked. The lath in the top of the rooms drops small flakes of clay onto the floor.

It may be hot as all heck in there but it does look like a nice room from the outside. Very clean and neat.

I wonder what the hole above the door is for though...maybe it's just decorative? Or to allow air to come in if you close all the windows and doors?

These rooms, not a Hotel, and really not prepared for travelers is cool. IF I leave the door and windows open. It doe not have a curtain or screens, or bars, so not very secure. There are only two rooms.

I ask about the Hole, Tito did not know. This place is ok providing there is a European living or volunteering there, if not, than could be horrible.

Like I said, you need a car, I do not have a car so not so good.

Bobo has many bad room, or rooms with a window on the hall, not to the air.

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