Saturday, September 27, 2008

Changing the Signs on Memory Lane

Last night we decided to go to the American Rec Club for supper. This is a place that was created primarily for employees of the American embassy nearby, but fortunately they’re not prejudiced and allow us Canadians to come in too :)

When we first came to Burkina back in the late 90s, access to the premises used to be as easy as driving up to the gate. But since the attacks on several American embassies in Africa several years ago, it’s not so simple any more. Barriers and security have been beefed up significantly, including a search under any vehicle wanting to enter the embassy premises (of which the Rec Club is a part).

The Rec Club has a restaurant, bar, small leisure book library, video library, swimming pool, tennis court, and exercise facility. As a family in former years, we used to pay for a yearly membership to enjoy a number of these privileges, particularly the swimming pool! During the hot season, this is THE place to come for a refreshing dip.

This time, however, we came for the food. Don’t need a membership for that, just enough money to pay the bill :) It’s a great place for those hungering for a little “back home” food. They serve hamburgers, Tex-Mex dishes (burritos, quesadillas, chimichangas, etc), chili, bacon & eggs, and the only lemonade in all of Burkina Faso! All in relatively comfortable, air-conditioned surroundings.

Francis, the server, is an old-timer. So is the cook. Although it’s been three years, both of them recognized us and asked how the kids were doing.

A lot of the places we’ve gone to over the past three weeks since coming back to Burkina have been trips down memory lane. This will probably be the case for a while yet as Kathy & I visit places anew that we last enjoyed as a family. But slowly and surely, new memories will be made to replace the older ones as we continue our life and work in Burkina as empty-nesters now.
I once saw a Toyota ad in a magazine that sums it up nicely: “What to do when the kids leave home? Do the same!” Yup, I’d say that’s exactly what we did!

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