Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Out With The Heat, In With The Dust

Finally, we have some cooler weather here in Burkina! For the first time since our arrival in September, we’re now able to sleep without having the A/C on all night. And when we go outside in the mornings, we actually don’t start sweating until after we’ve begun drinking our morning coffee. In fact, it’s so fresh and cool that we appreciate our cups of coffee for their warmth as well as the shot of caffeine they give us!

However, the cooler weather also brings with it another phenomenon: the harmattan wind. This is an annual wind that sweeps in off the Sahara Desert to the north and east of us from December to February, carrying with it fine clouds of sand and dirt that filter through every crack of our house and get into absolutely everything. At times, the air is so thick with dust that if this occurred in any city in the western hemisphere, they would issue a smog alert! You can visibly write your name on top of a table that was cleaned only 20 minutes earlier.

Last time we arrived back in Canada, I brought my laptop in for servicing to replace a burned-out motherboard. Upon retrieving it, I was asked where I had been over the past several years… Apparently, the inside of my machine was filled with a fine, red dust. Probably why my motherboard burned out!

Yesterday was an official holiday in Burkina: Tabaski. For the uninitiated, this is a Muslim holiday, not a steak sauce! The main method of celebration here appears to involve setting off firecrackers. We sure heard a LOT of them yesterday!

I’m off to the village today, if I can ever get out of this admin office before noon :)

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