Friday, November 21, 2008

Trip to the Village

Just came back from a trip to Zabré and to the Kusassi region. Josh & Melissa are coming to visit us in the middle of December to spend Christmas with us, and one of the places we want to take them is to the Kusassi region. Josh wants to go because he still has friends in the village, and Melissa has never had a village experience. However, since we no longer have a house in the village, I needed to find us a place to stay for a couple of nights.

Pastor Emmanuel did some preliminary legwork for me and had a few places to show me in Zabré when I got there. One of the most promising was a former center for a Burkinabè rural development agency. They had built a beautiful place with a conference room, residences, and guest housing, complete with lights, fans, running water, and air conditioners! Quite an impressive thing in a small Burkinabè town! But once their mandate was done in the area, they turned the entire center over to the state, who has since leased it to a local entrepreneur. This turned out to be a local village chief that I happened to know from our time down there in years past.

He was willing to rent me a 2-bedroom, living room, and indoor shower & toilet place for 4,000 FCFA/night (about $10). It already had beds with mosquito nets in it. When the development agency had it, they charged 10,000 FCFA (about $25) for a small room with a single bed in it! True, there was now no electricity (so no electric lights, fans, or A/C) since power comes from a generator and it costs too much to run it for only a few people. But I thought that was a good deal and wanted to try it out for a night. In true Burkinabè fashion, I asked if he would take 3,000 FCFA instead. He agreed :) He even cleaned the place and provided two battery-powered LED lamps to give me some light.

The next day, Pastor Emmanuel and I drove down to the Kusassi village of Bougré. This is where I want to build a small place to stay while we continue with our language learning, data gathering, and linguistic analysis of the Kusaal language. It took us longer than I’d planned to get there because we had to stop and say hello to several church leaders along the way (it would have appeared rude if we hadn’t). Good thing I like visiting with folks :) Despite the delays, I was able to look at a few potential plots before it was time to head back. I’ll need to look some more before I make up my mind, though. Nothing that I saw truly fit the bill yet.

We want an area that’s close to the village, but not right in it so that we won’t have people looking over our wall or in our windows 24/7. We also don’t want to be too far from the main road, not only so that we can easily get there, but so that people going by can easily drop by to say hello if they want to (we do want SOME social contact!). And we’d like at least one big shade tree in our yard :) We’ll let you know how things go from here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike and Kathy,
Glad to hread you are back in Burkina, but living in Ouaga, not Zabre must be a bit disappointing, since you seem like people who enjoy village life vs. city life.
What/where is this centre in Zabre that you are talking about--now a rest house. It wasn't there 6 years ago when we were back to Zabre. We stayed at the Catholic mission, or could have stayed at the former blind/handicapes centre where we worked for 7 years.
hoping to hear from you
Hendrik and Rose