Getting Around

Getting around

With the end of my placement around the corner, time has accelerated and the amount of things to get done has increased exponentially. Sadly, that means it’s been a bit difficult for me to find time to communicate. On top of that, when I was hearing bullets flying in the distance from my backyard when the military mutinies made it as far as Bobo, it didn’t seem like a very good time to be talking too much about what was going through my head (it’s okay, things are completely calmed down now). That said, sorry for the long hiatus.

Unfortunately, the end is closer than ever and that means all the more things to finalize. Still, I had a few pictures lying around, so I figured I’d post at least a little something to let you know I’m alive and kicking and give you a taste of what getting around is like in Burkina.

In Burkina…

Although you’d like to fly on and off your motorcycle,

On the road between Bobo and the university

you’ll find you’re often stuck behind a bus,

A bus trying to park, blocking several blocks in traffic - this happens a lot

or zigzagging back and forth, avoiding a full-frontal fuss.

Lanes are really more of a suggestion here, and that's when they are considered at all. In this picture, my taxi driver had engaged in a bit of a game of chicken with the car in front.

Though I’m sure you’ve come to expect that anything can go on top,

Although motorcycles are put on buses all the time, I've unfortunately yet to see someone fly off the top of the bus matrix-reloaded-style.

motorbikes, people and all… still you may yet be surprised,

It's pretty common for people to ride on top as well.

… by what you found inside.

Animals inside and on the bus is also pretty common, but I didn't see them in the baggage hold like this too often.

On your bike you may be a bit weighted down,

After my 5th flat tire on the 10 km road that separates Bobo from the college, I got angry at my bike and put it away. It's still looks up at me sadly from time to time, but I haven't yet forgiven it.

carrying your washer and dryer wherever you go,

The washer and dryer here would be those two buckets.

but at least you can be pretty sure that they aren’t going to blow!

I saw this "gas-tank-in-the-trunk-and-connected-to-the-engine-with-a-hose" set-up only twice. I think it was enough.

In Burkina, a car can fit a lot inside,

Admittedly, this isn't a particularly bad case of a cramped car... in the really bad cases, I'm not really able to reach my camera.

and is more willing to let you under its skin,

The insides of doors aren't so devoid of coverings like this one is here too often, but a missing handle or a cracked window is par for the course.

but I still didn’t expect that when in the trunk, the seats would do the sitting!

Since my bike gave up on me, getting back from the college (center) can be challenging. Once, I had to ride on the back of the pick-up truck pictured in front, underneath that mountain of chairs. ... Okay, for those few of you that I know are waiting for it: In Burkina -- Chair sit on you!!!

Sorry for the hiatus, I’ll try to have a few more posts up before I get home.

Thanks for reading my terrible non-poetry!


About dbgiacobbi

I am a volunteer with Engineers Without Borders Canada, spending 10 months in Burkina Faso. I work with an agricultural college (Centre Agricole Polyvalent de Matourkou) and a rural development engineering school (l'Institut du Développement Rural). My idea of development is helping people in Burkina Faso Achieve their potential follow their own vision for themselves, for their school and for their country.
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3 Responses to Getting Around

  1. Donna Hawk says:

    Hi Dana,

    Always glad to hear from you……I take a commuter train to work and I thought we had problems…..piece of cake compared to your mode of travel!!!

    Talk to you soon.


    Bob and Donna

  2. arpi says:

    Hi Dana!

    Great pics and poem. 🙂

    Which day will you be back? Looking forward to see you!

    All the best!


  3. Pingback: Development Digest – 15/07/11 « What am I doing here?

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