Friday, March 27, 2009

Burkina Has Talent #1

A couple of months ago, one of our visitors, Denise, suggested that I start a website called “Burkina Has Talent”, based, of course, on the well-known TV show, “America Has Talent”. I had been talking about how innovative and creative the Burkinabè people could be in making ends meets and earning a living. This takes a variety of forms, anything from recycling trash to new uses for ordinary things to creative story-telling designed to pull at the heart-strings and wheedle a few hundred or thousand francs out of the listener’s wallet :)

However, rather than starting a new blog or website (I barely have time to keep this one up as much as I’d like!), I’ve decided to incorporate it into this one. So every now and then, when I run into something interesting, I’ll feature it here under the heading “Burkina Has Talent”.

Today, I’ll start out with something simple. The Burkinabè have come up with 101 uses for strips of rubber that they cut from the old inner tubes of bicycle tires. Here’s one such use: Don’t have the proper end to join a length of rubber hose to an outside faucent? No problem. It’s nothing a strip of rubber can’t fix!

Stay tuned for more creative ideas from the land of upright men!

By the way, remember my problem with the water company here? The $200 bill I recently received? Well, my Burkinabè colleague and his friend were able to get this reduced to about $45. This might sound like it’s still a little high, and it might be, but it does cover several months, including a serious underpayment in November (when we paid about $2 for a month’s use of water). In any case, it won’t be worth the time and energy I’ll have to spend to get it much lower. The law of diminishing returns and all that stuff. But you can bet I’ll be watching the water meter and the monthly bill with significantly more attention from now on!

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