Mali Travel Stories, Page 3

2007 September 20 Entered Mali left Burkina Faso

2007 September 20 Entered Mali left Burkina Faso
Sikasso, Mali, West Africa
Thursday, September 20, 2007

I left Orodara, Burkina Faso, a nice, happy place and am in Sikasso, Mail. This is a new country for me, I am on number 77.

So far, I want to return to my island in Orodara to continue to enjoy the day, tomorrow I travel to Bamako, Mali and I cannot see any tranquil pathways. I will get a Visa to Guinea and scoot on south.

2007 September 20 Entered Mali left Burkina Faso

Traveler’s Rites of Passage

Traveler’s Rites of Passage
Sikasso, Mali, West Africa
Thursday, September 20, 2007

I am drinking an ice-cold glass of fresh ground ginger mixed in water, and then frozen to slush. I am lying on the bed in this Hotel, not in the guidebook, and feeling a sense of Victory.

I was being cynical about the Hostel Fondation Charles Dunfour in Ouaga, Burkina Faso, and as I continue to focus with the hindsight zoom at maximum magnification, I think,
- I guess I enjoyed the place in a nostalgic sort of way. -

I thought about editing the post and adding the comment, you need to go stay there, say you love it, and understand, to live in this type of lodging is a,
- A Travelers Rites of Passage. -

I am not looking forward to it, however I know one day I will have both my backpacks stolen, another of them, it goes with the terrain situations, I guess I trudge forward, knowing this will happen, but not today.

Today is Victory

Maybe I could call these A Travelers Rites of Passage.

Leaving when told there is no way to leave.
- I got up this morning, on the road at sunrise, standing and waiting for my transportation to Mali. I asked two bus stations, about 10 people how to travel to Mali, they all told me the exact same advice, you must wait until 5:00 PM for the buses coming from Bobo. I defied all advice and what do you know I am in Sikasso, Mali about 12:00.

Riding in the back of Fruit Truck
- I got a ride from Orodara to the Border of Mali with about 20 other people in the back of a big truck loaded with assorted items, hover mostly lemon.

Having two big Border Guard take you in the back room
- I entered Mali and these two Border Guards take me to this back corner where I could not even see the Mali Visa stamp and proceeded to ask questions, nothing to do with crossing a border.
Guidebook Recommend out of the question hotel.

Taxi drops you off outside of city

I pulled into the Hotel, drank the water

Mosquito Net

Maggots in squat toilet

Scream in a foreign language and learn later you were saying the wrong words. Voler, then thinking did I say thief of flying.

Traveler’s Rites of Passage

Pros or Cons Versus your Travel Speed

Pros or Cons Versus your Travel Speed
Orodara, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Wednesday, September 19, 2007

You have lived in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso for a year… ?
You have lived in Cape Coast, Ghana for three months… ?

What are you doing here in Togo?
What are you doing here in Ghana?

Reading some real questions I asked of people I met while some volunteer workers or NGO workers were being tourist, I must accept, I enjoy a small prod or provoke here and there to observe neural speed and efficiency. Yes, it is having a reaction to stimuli.

Travel is not a one time event, travel is movement, I suppose going to a Resort in Cancun, Mexico could be called an event, or going to a Festival is an event, and being a volunteer can be a long-term event, somewhere wrapped up in the time spent in a location starts to tell me whether you are a traveler or a you are living somewhere to what is the truth?

I ask questions to volunteers that are 90 percent travelers and 10 percent volunteers, as I listen, they have never stay at the event, and they voted with their feet and left the Volunteer Event.

There are Pros and Cons of any Travel Destination. Travel is about time and speed controls, when you stay a long time in one place the speed control is on low, and when you stay one day, the speed control is on high. I for sure believe the majority of tourist and travelers have a faulty speed control that is jammed on high speed, which means those flowers have no smell.

When the Pros are up, turn the speed down, when the Cons are up, then turn the speed up, accelerate, full speed ahead.

I think there is some inside, traveler question, and stated like,
- How long to do the country? -
In the world language, not English.
- How long to know the place? -
The world asked the question,
- Do you know Burkina Faso? -

I say
- I arrived yesterday. -
I want to say,
- Connect your brain to your mouth, there is a severe lack of neural efficiency, how can I know a place until I have spent at least one day, you saw me get off the bus. -

Velocity, speed, I have no need for speed, unless it feels bad, when life is good, I go slow and eat every piece of pie, and save some for tomorrow. When life sucks, I raise my mast and sail away, praying to all the good Gods there are no doldrums.

When the cons outweigh the pros I go fast, when the pros outweigh the cons, I go slow, sometimes I stop, a very good sign about a place.

When I have seen NGO and Volunteers who are sailing ships with three masts, and trying to find ways to erect more, I some times tell them,
- I saw the Air Moroc office down the street. -

Do I really need to weigh the pros and cons of a country, I just need remember I am the Captain of this Ship, and can say, Scotty, engage, go to Warp Speed, or I can stay an watch a very bad movie because I paid the money, and know I have been demoted.

To be an Alpha Male, there has to be other letters in the alphabet.

Pros or Cons Versus your Travel Speed

Helping Travelers Travel in Africa

Helping Travelers Travel in Africa
Orodara, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I now am now reading quite a few Travel Journals thanks to the RSS reader.

I hear many things,

I want to be famous.
I am an authority.
I am here; this is a good or bad place.
I am not writing a travelogue, I am writing an article.
Here, look at my photos. ( I am on Flickr.)
These are the facts, because I said so.
I hate my country, and so should you.
I am sorry, I do not post, I want to, but I am too busy.
I have this all planned, I will be here on this date, and leave on this date.

All these reasons are good; the one I like to hear is most, what I want to hear is,

…hello how are you, what do you think, did you hear this, and maybe this idea will help others travelers travel…
(Passive voice)

I know he or she is in a different country, however I know we are on the same path, yes, I will follow you, and thank you.

Helping Travelers Travel in Africa

The Morning Donkey Bray

The Morning Donkey Bray
Orodara, Burkina Faso, West Africa
September 19, 2007, 6:29 AM

The roosters are crowing.
Sometime a dog barks.
People are turning on their radios and televisions.
People talking at full on, no volume control.
I can hear the soft sweeping of the sand.
Motorcycles or Mopeds are accelerating.
Walking to who knows where…
Some birds are chirping, but not competing well.
Wheels rolling on the highway as semis past

Soon horns from cars and motorcycle will become dictators of the day.

I hear the bray of a Donkey and started to laugh; I do not remember ever hearing this noise as the sunrise, but a nice addition to a noisy world I live in, providing not in the same compound as mine. For sure, the Donkey has better manners than all the other animals around, he or she only brayed one time.

The world truly believes, if I am awake, then you should be awake, I am a lucky traveler, I normally wake up around 5:00 AM and hear them awake, instead of reacting to the noises.

The Morning Donkey Bray

Orodara a Populated Place

Orodara a Populated Place
Orodara, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I am in Orodara, Burkina Faso; for some reason this Geography Term, a populated place has entered my world two times today. Working on and the cities of the USA there is an identifier use called Populated Place, both times this phrase has almost negligible value to me.

I did not take the direct but to Bamako, Mali.

The direct bus from Bobo, Burkina Faso to Bamako, Mali if I took it would arrive at 21:30 and if all went as normal African time, I would think closer to 23:30 of almost midnight. I asked,
- Climatise? -
The ticket woman frowns, and shakes here head. This does not mean it is not Air Conditioned, it means one person answered no, however I felt she had a better than fair chance of being spot on, therefore negatives chance outweighs the benefits.

Most West African take showers at night, the bus for Bamako leaves at 8:30 in the morning, they are wearing winter coats, the temperature is close to 90 degrees. Everyone wants the windows closed, 12-16 hours of this and my olfactory nerves will take weeks to recover, the ride back from Banfora has already overworked them. African people are clean people, however, nobody is so clean you can just sit and sweat with the windows closed. It has come to my attention, they somehow ignore smells and loud noise, the TV is consistently louder than anywhere I have traveled.

Therefore, my best option is to do a populated place to populated place, skip and hop travel trip from Bobo to Bamako, Mali. I have landed at a populated place called Orodara, I think here is the capital of cheap cashews, and they are sold like peanuts here.

70 kilometers the small concrete road marker said as we cleared the populated place or areas of Bobo and 70 kilometers, this is not very far to travel, however, I have Thank-Any-God out ran the cling-ons of Bobo, Ouaga, and Banfora, I have left the Barbaric behavior of Bobo and enter the civilized city of Orodora, a populated place. I wonder why cities are the uncivilized parts of the planet, and the almost non-populated places are civilized, whatever the case, the people of Orodara are a pleasure to meet as they suffer through Coreme or Ramadan, just saying no to Cashews. My French to English translation on my computer calls it lent, maybe they are related, nevertheless the Islamic people are hungry and need a drink of water today, until about 6:00 PM and they will all run to eat and drink, I wonder if all the bars are busier after this time?

My room is 2500 CFA or 5 Dollars US here in Orodara, the Karma is back in alignment, and I left a room in the Cocotier Hotel in Bobo, very good, but for 7000 CFA and negligibly better. I think I will grow a beard, there is never a sink and mirror in my Hotels, they do not need to shave, and I guess I do not either, I guess I can give it up for Ramadan, shaving that is. I need to find a country where the black people have Paul Bunyan type beard, not goatees.

Orodara a Populated Place

Burkina Faso Date

Burkina Faso Date
Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Tuesday, September 17, 2007

I believe these are Dates, a sweet type of dried Fruit sold in Bobo-Dioulasso and other cities here in Burkina Faso. I finally had a young boy offer me less than a kilo so I purchased a few.

A girls in Bobo is arranging the Dates, Cashew, and bags of coffee that are shipped by train from Cote d’Ivoire.

A picture of 100 CFA worth of Dates, this is about 20 cents USA and I suspect this is way over priced.

A nice change of snacks, there is this seed in the middle, healthy and I probably could carry in my backpack a few without worry of spoiling or starting to grow. Once had some Garlic that sprouted.

Burkina Faso Date

Arrived in Bangkok Thailand

Arrived in Bangkok Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand Southeast Asia
Monday, October 1, 2007

Marker to allow readers to know where I am located. I will now insert about 7 days of post that have not been posted due to no access on trip from Bobo, Burkina Faso to Kita, Mali.

I am presently in Bangkok, Thailand after about a 40 hours porthole to porthole trip. A flight from Bamako, Mail to Nairobi, Kenya, layover from 6:00 to 23:00 then a flight to Bangkok, Thailand.

Sitting in a room watching CNN and AC about the same price as dust room in Mali, and wondering what is happening on the planet, Burma is having problems next door.

Arrived in Bangkok Thailand