Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Humour

It’s Christmas in warm, sunny Burkina (kind of like Christmas in Florida, but without the ocean nearby). Driving down the streets of Ouaga at this time of the year, we see things now that we never saw the first years we were here: ambulant vendors selling Christmas decorations, Christmas ornaments, miniature Christmas tree lights, and even artificial Christmas trees! But the funniest thing they’re selling are inflatable plastic Santas. We couldn’t resist buying one to have some fun with!

The first thing we did was stick it in our next-door neighbour’s kitchen window. Prior to this, our courtyard guards kept their stuff in a couple of trunks under this window and would scare the bejeebers out of her whenever they were there and she came into the kitchen. So she had the trunks moved. You can imagine her reaction when she arrived the other morning to make herself a cup of coffee and saw a stranger in front of her kitchen window! Haha!

A few days later, it was cash withdrawal day at the finance office on our Centre in Ouaga. So we got a small, empty tomato tin, a miniature version of the kind used by the beggar boys here, hung it on Santa’s outstretched plastic arm, and placed him just outside the finance office door. What made this particularly funny was that fact that prices of nearly everything, including basic foodstuffs, had increased sharply in Burkina earlier in the year. Our jest suggested that even Santa was having a hard time making ends meet here!

We primed the pump by placing 10 francs in the can. It was a real hoot watching and listening to people’s reactions! And by the end of the morning, we were 100 francs and a sucker candy richer for our efforts :)

To bring Santa back home, we placed him in the passenger seat of our neighbours’ car. Fortunately, they had forgotten to look the driver’s door, so we were able to get in without having to break a window :)

Once back at the ranch, we placed him on top of our water tower. The harmattan wind was pretty strong at times, so we tied him down to a piece of plywood. It didn’t last, though. The last time we saw Santa, he had taken a suicide dive off the water tower and was laying face down in our front yard.

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