Arriving Monday morning at 5:30 we drive through the empty streets of Ouaga. My backpack is resting on the back of Sarah’s moto bumping me closer and closer up against her. My helmet hits her head a few times. We get onto the bridge over the lake, the sun is rising, the water reflecting a rosy pastel sky. I feel cushioned by the energy of this place.

I sleep 6 hours. We eat mountains of rice and gorgeously greasy sauce for lunch. I flee the puppy who has decided to eat my feet for lunch.

In the evening we go out for dinner, just as we leave the house the power shuts down. When you live somewhere power cuts can be annoying, but when you are on holiday they are magical. There is plenty of light, the moon is crescent. Stars over the dirt road, silhouettes of palm tree crowns. Voices and crickets. Fried plantains and chicken. Moto lights flashing by.

Tuesday Ouaga is warm, not sticky warm, just lazy warm… and dusty. My nose is clogged, there is a fine red film on the leaves in the yard. I scratch puppy’s tummy, she gets exited and pees. A little drop hits me on the cheek. Pink flowers playing with the sunlight.

I go out on my own, I’m not really sure when people are talking to me or not, but try to drop a “ça va” or two in the right directions. I pay five times the actual price for a bottle of milk, but don’t get lost on the way home.

Sarah hands me a helmet – it is dusty but it will keep you from dying! We go to her in-laws, I understand 20% of what is said but still manage to share in plenty of laughs and proudly produce three whole sentences on my own. Pure loveliness of people who actually want to communicate with you!

I so understand why people who come here stay….



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