Burkina-faso Travel Stories, Page 2

174 of 177 HDI Burkina Faso

174 of 177 HDI Burkina Faso
Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Thursday, September 13, 2007

I was prompted by Eric, and got curious, I knew that Burkina Faso was low on the list; however, I am astounded by the HDI. The Human Development Index or Report has Burkina Faso as fourth from the bottom, if this is fourth, then Damn; the world is in great shape.

I was expecting to be up around Togo at 147.

I can buy lettuce here; there are Bicycles and Motorcycles everywhere, Donkeys, Tractors. The internet is kick-A fast.

I was wondering why everyone in Burkina Faso kept telling me life was tough here, they read it, and repeated. I am sure the north of Burkina Faso can be bleak as it enters the Sahara Desert.

There is a Fruit Market, not a Market, a Fruit Market just a few blocks over from my present position. This is not a Market for me, this is a prepare to export market.


I think they are bagging up Ginger for export; the Fruit Market is more or less a packaging or wholesalers market. This is great, to have a wholesale market distributions point, then railroad shipping to Abidjan to put on boats is top level.



These are plastic greenhouses, an intense way to grow food products or plants, a far stretch above the hoe farmers of Togo.

As the bus was entering Ouaga, I saw a Jack Hammer and an air compressor, this type of equipment is expensive, I know some Mexicans that would love to have a Jack Hammers so they could put down their chisels and picks.

Human Development is a mixture of many things, and protecting the women is emphatic for the United Nations, and well, there are so many women here driving Motorcycles, what can you say, when men allow the women to drive, life is pretty good.

174 of 177 HDI Burkina Faso


Tough Audience in Bobo Burkina Faso

Tough Audience in Bobo Burkina Faso
Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso

As I see it, I am normally the entertainment for the locals in many countries of West Africa. The locals watch the entertainment with great curiosity to see what the White Man does. The locals are an attentive audience waiting with patience and anticipation.

The children scream White Man, more or less the background music.

The older women are the critics, they sit, ask each other is this act good or bad. They are the critics, I must keep them happy, they decide my future and fate.

The hecklers, the Men need thrown out of the club.

Bouncers, I am one man act, therefore I must also serve as the bouncer, often I use a humor to keep the hecklers in their seats and their mouths closed.

Bobo has won the booby prize for the most Hecklers of any city I have visited. In the central market of Bobo are streets of Hecklers, where the act just should never book, never visit and best to avoid.

I am not sure I have ever wanted to avoid the market area of any city, I suppose in front of the Palm Beach Hotel in Lome, Togo is a contender for obnoxious areas in Africa.
I have noticed a jaded progression, I am slowly ignoring and giving the blank face to more men in Africa with each month that passes. The mind naturally avoids non-beneficial places, situations and people, however it has to first make this decision. This is not conscious, it is unconscious. Every once in awhile a genuinely nice man says hello without heckling, mockery or an agenda and I wake up out of my blank ignoring them trance and have to stop, think and say, Hello. Then I find my mind reverts back to the status of they almost do not exist, totally contrary to the my Indiana natural say hello to everyone culture.

Tough Audience in Bobo Burkina Faso


One Jar of Love to Go Please

One Jar of Love to Go Please
Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Thursday, September 13, 2007

Take away if your British

I take photos of street children.
- I have not seen any in Africa.
I would take photos of AIDS.
- I have never seen a person in Africa with AIDS.
I take photos of crazy people.
- I see crazy people in Africa.

Skin disease or skin problems.



I took this photo in the market of Po; again, I am having Betazoid Empath problems. What does it feel like to be a baby and not have the power to fight back?



I believe this will causes scars, if and when the mother or baby solves the problem. This is maybe the first child I have seen with this problem. I see many adults, those crazy folks walking around in West Africa with this problem or laying along side the road. I do not know why, I am sure they were all babies, before they became adults.

I had a confusing conversation with Tito from the NGO or something here in Bobo last night. He has been in Africa now for 10 months; this is about 9 months longer than the average volunteer. The Peace Corps workers are interesting to talk with after they have been in-country for two years, their perspectives change.

The confusing conversation was somewhere adrift and floating around the idea of will Africa ever stop having problems. We was sitting in this open-air restaurant along side a major road, eating beef filets and admiring the local women, more or less a life of luxury. There was a group of about 20 children passing us all carrying small buckets. They children were being sent into the city to beg for 200 CFA. This is their nightly quota; it was about 9:00 PM as they walked to the central city.

I am 100 percent sure these problems are not mine, I know 100 percent sure I am not responsible for them. I have had advance anti-dysfunctional behavior training as a recovering alcoholic. People save themselves; the decision to stop having problems is a personal decision.

The conversation is about caring, who cares, I am worried, and in our confusing conversation. I am worried, I am not sure Africa cares what happens to the children of Africa. I am 100 percent sure this is an African problem, that will be solved hopefully one day by Africans. I have had the advance training; I know a person has to save himself or herself.

You could send a billion dollars here to solve this problem and I personally do not believe it would solve this problem. I am tempted, think a lot about this, I am tempted to walk up and give the women 10 dollars to buy skin medicine, I would give 50, and I would give whatever is needed. I do believe or trust that the mother cares about the baby, and I could trust here to take the money to go buy medicine. I could buy the medicine and give to the mother…. This goes on and on, the what if questions and ideas never end… Blah blah blah.

The mother allowed the baby to develop this problem and it continues because she does not care. I have no idea how to buy love and put it in a person.

One Jar of Love to Go Please


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.

Cave:
- 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



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


Bobo Dioulasso Burkina Faso,

Bobo Dioulasso Burkina Faso,
Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I traveled from Po to Ouaga, stayed on night, then traveled for five hours to Bobo, Burkina Faso or he complete name Bobo Dioulasso. I am now in the land of plenty.



Map of Trip from Bolga, Ghana to Po to Ouaga to Bobo, Burkina Faso.

Description from the Encarta Encyclopedia:
- … trade center for peanuts, sesame seeds, sisal hemp, and livestock; manufactures include cotton yarn, metal products, vegetable oil, soap, lime, and bricks. …

This description seems right on the mark, so far, my guess is this an accurate and correct description.

To describe a country, you need your eyes wide open, and stop reading. I try to read about a country after I know the country, then I can have a laugh, and not try to find what I read, to confirm it.

I just read that description and I have seen obvious in my face examples of three-quarters of this list. South of Ouaga Burkina fast to the Ghana and Cote d Ivoire has to be one of the richest in food areas I have entered in West Africa. It was hard to look out the window and not see a cow, goat, cotton, corn, or some cash crop being grown.

Nice to see after see how Togo, Benin and Ghana wasted their natural resources and then cried foul.

I want to see Sesame Seed growing. And the Encyclopedia should add potatoes and onions to the list above, I ate 2 dollars worth of USA French Fries last night for 20 cents US, or 100 CFA. Next time I will say 50 CFA, as 100 is too much and I had to stop the women from loading up the torn piece of paper, used for a plate.

Bobo Dioulasso Burkina Faso


Ouaga to Bobo Burkina Faso

Ouaga to Bobo Burkina Faso
Ouaga Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Monday, September 10, 2007

The Rakieta Bus Station location and bus is making life easy for me in Burkina Faso, I can enter and leave Ouaga painlessly. Three times on a bus and they have not tried to get a bag fee, what is up with this country, I like to say no.

Note: I went to the bus station at 7:00 AM and asked to buy a tickets to Bobo. The lady was suddenly angry and frustrated, saying you can not buy a ticket here for Bobo or something like that. I had stopped and asked this same women, I quadruple checked with this women about taking a bus to Bobo. It never connected in her mind that she should tell me it was another station, called Larle. It worked out ok, and I went to the Rakieta Larle bus station to Bobo by Taxi for 600 CFA or 1.25 Dollars.

Ouaga has about one cling-on per block of walking; these boys come up, shake hands, then become annoyed with me as I shake my finger and day, thanks, but do not follow me in French. I mean it, so they do not follow; I had high level training in India.

I am still searching now for people called Puh or something like, girls with Bangles and Jewelry and they do not live in Po, but they visit. I like Ethnic groups, they look like the Cattle people or some African Gypsy, I have lost the trail, my hope was to go between Po and Bobo but the road is full of rainwater, mixed with red clay.

The bus trip from Po to Ouaga is 2000 CFA and form Ouaga to Bobo is 6000 CFA, I am making good time, if a person wanted, they could easily cross this country in one-two days in a big bus comfort, and no bag fee, or at least no arguments over bag fees. I am doing well, only one fee paid in West Africa, I do not like to be chopped, it makes me have a bad taste in my mouth when I leave a country, and it is what I remember about a country, I was chopped.

Ouaga to Bobo Burkina Faso


Ouaga Hostel

Ouaga Hostel
Ouaga Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Monday, September 10, 2007



I am a flop called Fondation Charles Dunfour on Rue de Chance; the guidebook says Rue du Mosque. I am in a different country, therefore a different guide writer; nonetheless, this writer’s maybe does not have a car and is more ready to forgive than the Ghana writer not on a budget.

I am in love with this Hostel for one night, and I will kiss it goodbye today and say hello if I see her again. I will not exchange numbers. There are two French Girls in one of the room who brush and combs each other’s hair, to other French Girls in the dorm beds I think, and another French guy named Thomas. Thomas is the only person, who speaks English, and his English is great, they do not seem to smoke… strange?



There is literally one of the 5-7 various boys flopping on the floor just beyond he swing of my room door. I woke at about 4:55 am, did the SOP walk to find a switch to the John, and find some water for coffee. Upon return to the room, I used a pillow from the bed with no pillowcase to block the three 2-inch gap under my single room door. I know the light from room would glare into his eyes on the floor and possibly wake him, I hope.

Four French Girls, One French Boy and One American
5 Men and 2 Girls from some African Country, I hope Burkina Faso living in the Hostels.

A single room is 5000-6000 CFA or 10-12 U.S. Dollars. A dorm bed with a mosquito net on the bed is I think 3000 or 6 US Dollars, my room did not include a Mosquito net, the hotel is one short, so I pay more and have none, go figure.

This is a “We are in this Together Hotel,” so we all overlook and look the other way and pretend. The French girls are in Africa to visit one country, and Thomas is visiting two. He said to me, “The Hotels are very expensive, yes?” I then taught him some curse words in English to expand on his vocabulary in agreement.

It has been ages since I have stayed in a Hostel or Hotel like this, it reminds me of a place long long ago in Managua, Nicaragua. The Managua place was great, full of Peace Corps not at their village as normal and Israel people, and one exceptional Israel girl named Maya, she was a dream that did not come true. The room was about the same quality; a lizard climbed in my room and ate my bread in a plastic bag hanging on the wall no less. The room was one dollar.

I closed the window here; the only guaranteed of nothing crawling in, however, there is a two going on three-inch gap under the door I cannot lock because it has expanded due to moisture.

This room is 10 US dollars, my room in Po comparable for 8, but with a mosquito net in Po.

I walked back to the Hotel Oiseau Blue diagonally across from the Rakieta Bus Station three times yesterday. The vendors in front of the station are the only ones selling food in this area on Sunday. The neighborhood is very organized, the grid system of wide streets, the traffic is not too bad, and all is easy. The red clay sand is covering the city in a slurry of mud today, as it has been raining nightly.

I paid 10 US dollar for the experience and money well spent to live in the Fondation Charles Dunfour Hostel here in Ouaga, Burkina Faso, and I would suspect if Charles is alive, he is doing well from the proceeds, as the cost of proving services to income is a good gap. Everyone should stay in a Hostel like this one time in his or her life, they can be either at home or hell, but they are for sure a trip to somewhere. This type of Hostel with the correct people inside can be a joy to live in, the camaraderie makes the “we are in this together” help you to forget you are in a flophouse in and industrial wholesale section of town. I really wish all the French were smoking as normal… it would make all more SOP and in the right Frame.

I cannot remember, I think it is called Crystal Hostel in Accra Ghana was a challenge for worst over-all value for the buck. It was also a “We are in this together Hostel,” very low utility value, also located on the wrong side of the tracks.

I think if I lived in this Hostel long enough, a local girl would say, why are you living in that neighborhood don’t you know it is the wholesale industrial area. About 5 blocks directly east of here is a large modern street with a few good place to hide, and way to expensive hotels. It is where I will go to use the internet, and then retrieve my backpacks that are locked to the table because the room will not lock, and scoot on down the road to a city named Bobo, surreal and real.

My fan is quiet, a benefit.

Ouaga Hostel


Burkina Faso Adult Conversations

Burkina Faso Adult Conversations
Po, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Sunday, September 9, 2007

Pascal my fixer here in Po is a boy I think of 16, he found the Hotel, then later helped me learn the bridge is out or flooded on the road between Po and Leo or maybe to Bobo, Burkina Faso.

I walked through the excellent market here in Po, found some strange Vegetables.



Begins with a B, said in French, and they all turned and asked some 10 year old girl to talk. I stopped in the Po market, took some photos of various foods here in Po, I asked the vendors what the name of the vegetable was, I spoke French and the ladies quickly pulled a small girl to the front to talk, she said a word I cannot remember, but begins with B.

Education

French is not the first language here in Po; however, French is the neutral language or the language of business here in Francophone Burkina Faso.

They call me Foreigner; my name is Nassara here in Po, a.k.a Le Blanc.

What is an adult? What is adult conversation? Pascal my Fixer is 16 going on 24. The 10 year old is 10 going on 10, educated to 25 and surround by people educated to 10.

I met Sonora a girl with body of 25, an education of 15 and emotionally 12,

The Sweet Potato French Fries woman is 30, acting 30, heavy load body of a women of 30, and I think emotionally 30.

Deborah, pronounced French, is 17, works in the store around the corner. Emotionally about 27, physically about 22, and chronologically about 17, and let me see, educationally she is 35 going on 50.

I met a Christian Ghana Missionary man, maybe about 55 and I hope 55 because his hair was graying. This average age of dying is mythically misrepresented. The only safe adult to talk with and he says he wants resources, not money, fibbing is a sin. His explanation of the problems of young men in Burkina Faso and Ghana was succinctly religiously accurate, and if I typed in this computer guaranteed to get hate mail.

Volunteers and NGO?

I have heard,
- Your momma didn’t raise no fool, but she still dresses you funny. -

I think I could twist this to best explain Volunteers and NGO projects. They make me appreciate the honesty nature of the occasional rogue philander in West Africa.

A kaleidoscope of adult conversations. I walk a maze, stopping at various stations to get one complete conversation. I guess talking to myself has merit, and 5 kilos of books helps. I spend too much time learning and not enough time talking, I met this Slovenia man who was great in Ghana and lives in Bobo, I am looking forward to talking with him for a couple of days.

Deborah the small shop manager spoke English and French, and likes to play language game with me, mixing it up to keep my brain awake. I will stop in this morning and ask here to explain Po to me; Pascal the Fixer had knowledge only 2 kilometers distance from Po. Speaking English is a hint that she is interested in the outside world, and working in the store, she maybe has enough money to travel to Ouaga.

Pascal is not a cling-on this is great, there is some cling-on in the neighborhood and this is one an extreme annoyance. One person who thinks he is a guide has almost driven me out of the village, he does not understand no, non and I have not learned the word for A -- Hole in French or I would have said that, I forgot my French, reverted to Spanish and called him a Pendejo on the bus trip from Ouaga to Po. The people on the bus understood me, as I Alpha Male snorted at him telling him, the window is staying open and he is lazy. He wanted to close my window, as his window had no handle; he was normal lazy, take the easy way out attitude.

West Africa requires a lot of work; I must wander around in Villages searching for adult conversations. I do not feel lonely; however, I would like to ask the question,
- What do you think or what is your opinion? -

Pascal the Fixer could not believe I trusted him, and wanted his opinion of which hotel was best. I was trying to explain in French that being honest and trustworthy has nothing to do with age, or social status.

I really do live by my instincts, and do no let my education interfere with making proper decisions.

Call Audible from the line of scrimmage, I am leaving by bus soon for Ouaga, Burkina Faso, the Capital of the country and a rerun, travelers are not suppose to follow the same paths twice, third time on this road for me, severe penalty and two yellow flags are thrown.

There are no good options in Po; it is raining, all the Islamic people are not working because it is Sunday, all the Christian People are not working because it is raining and Sunday. It is raining and too quiet, they will not wake early because the too many bars were open last night, so I am getting on the 10 AM bus for Ouaga. The rain has washed away the road for big cars, and only motorcycles are going to Leo directly towards Bobo. I am brave, but 100 plus kilometers on a motorcycle taxi for 10,000 CFA, with muddy clay, read road is not brave, it is suicide.

Burkina Faso Adult Conversations