Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Break From Ouaga

This past weekend, I went down to the village to touch base with Pastor Emmanuel and some of the other Kusassi folks. It’s been months since I’ve last been and I must confess that I miss both the village and my friends there. In this case, it’s certainly true that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

I left Ouaga after lunch on Friday, about an hour later than I’d planned. I wanted to get to Zabré before dark (night falls between 6-7 p.m. here in Burkina all year round) but now had my doubts. The road from Manga to Zabré had already been in bad condition the last time I travelled it. Back then, potholes and washboards had me grinding along in first and second gears for much of the distance, turning a normally one-and-a-half hour drive through the Burkina countryside into a 3-hour cross-country marathon. Now that we were in the rainy season, I fully expected it to be in even worse shape!

To my surprise, the road had actually been graded recently! I’ve never heard of this being done during the rainy season! So after picking up a Kusassi friend in Manga, we managed to get to Zabré well before dark.

It was great to sit in Pastor Emmanuel’s courtyard again, talk, and eat rice and sauce for supper. Yeah, it gets monotonous if you have to eat it all the time, but otherwise it tastes really good! Maybe it’s the slightly smoky flavour from the open fire :) Of course, I couldn’t finish all they piled on my plate. But then again, I’m not out doing fieldwork all day like they are.

It turned out to be a LOT cooler in the village than it was in Ouaga. Especially the following day when Kathy texted me and told me the power was out at our place again.

When I got back to Ouaga on Saturday evening, the power still wasn’t back on and I knew we’d never be able to sleep with the heat and humidity. So I called our Centre manager and asked if there were any guest rooms with A/C still available. Fortunately there was, so we packed up a few things and headed over there, prepared to spend the night. Fifteen minutes later, our guard calls me to say that the power is back on at home. Go figure.

Well, there’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed, is there?

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