It’s like no place I’ve ever been. My sensitivities has been ringing alarms and also shielding me. Instead of jumping fully in I have been having to introduce myself. Say hi and be on the outskirts looking about.
First off this is the first place I have been where french is the language you use if you want to speak. The universal language. Then there is the mix of indigenous languages weaved in like julu and others.
But let me get to that. So the next night i was invited to dinner at a cafe by a friends friend and his family was there. He’s the best at the english language I’ve spoken to so far, however his child was grabbing unto his leg and he affectionally said this is my son. I was like word….certainly looked like a girl to me with her hair in cornrow braids and her fingernails painted. She was probably also playing in make up because the little one wore hints of pink lipstick. Either way i asked for his childs name and he said Anna. So. I knew he meant daughter but I was being open minded like hey maybe it doesn’t matter here. But I know I know he meant she was his daughter.
I sat down. Before coming to Africa I had been briefed on water. Do not drink the water and even.if its in a bottle put your steripen in it and zapp it, wait ten to thirty minutes and then drink. I ordered what I spaghetti no tomato sauce but my stimach wouldn’t let me finish so sadly I spent the rest of the meal needing to go sit kn the toilet wit the seat down and my head down to calm the nauseous feeling. The man’s family was nice and wanted to share their pizza and french fries but after having lost my pizza the day before i figured maybe i didn’t need it.
Oh the scents oh the scents! You need a mask for one whose nose is sensitive a mask will help you to be outside. I smelt mens cologn, dust, chemicals, and food scents. I readily went to the room i rented and layed down. The next day we were to take off i wanted to be ready for the trip to Bobo which I heard was five hours from Oaugadougou. The next morning came and i was so ready to go from the capital that i had.my bags packed and turned in my key by 8 am. I sat and waited. I glanced outside. Waited…drank water. Waited. Nothing. When the guide and I finally talked he let me know the students in Oaugadougou were upset about not having food at the university so they shut down the fuel station for a time. It would be an hour till we were ready by then it was noon.
Okay, I realized something then. My bags were very light. I lost my tent. Oh great. Anyway lets continue. So after another hour and or so he pulled up…just as I was about to order food by the way. But I dropped ordering to get on the road to the music city of Burkina. It was so hot in the car fhe windows rolled down or up the air conditioner on or off. Oh dear. I turned it on high, pressed another button. Mens cologne, no food oh dear. Heat. Just as we were going across a bridge i saw the smoke…it was like someone turned a small fogger on in the car. He pulled over and we got out. The belt of the engine had seen its last days. Oh great. Lol. I went to sit at the roadside plant nursery were did not go to Bobo that day.
For the evening that follwed I spent time handing mini chocolate candy bars to kids. The next morning we were on the road. Five hours of me trying to just go to sleep to take my mind off of the air, the scents, and my stomach.
When we did arrive I sat down in the lobby of the hotel. Up to then I was amazed at the wild ride this trip had been. But lets recount the many times I’ve gone somewhere and found out what was happening.
2011: I thought, you know what I’ve never heard of a black girl sailing. I will go do that. The day we decided to set sail we learned a tsunami had had hit Japan and Hawaii and the coast of Cali was bracing themselves. My friends told me later that someone said where the hell is Sabrina? Of course I was the one on the ship on the Pacific Ocean off the southern coast of Cali. They knew because I had them drop me off at the train so I could make it to the docks a few nights earlier.
Maybe I should write a memoir. I remember telling my bestfriend that I want these stories to inspire my grandchildren.
Up next: A Guide for a Week P.2