Africa | Burkina Faso | Ouagadougou – Gorom Gorom Market
Its evening now and Im rocking on my hammock in Ouagadougou (pronounced Waga-doo-goo), the capital of Burkina Faso. Yes, thats the real name of the city. The locals call it Waga for short.
Was sad to leave Ghana that I so much loved, beside the fact that everyone here speaks French and its quite annoying. Not a single word in English.
Its the 2nd time on my travels that the immigration officer claims that Im the first Israeli he has ever seen. It also happened to me in Rwanda but then, on the contrary to today, that officer closed the door of the office, took out a drum and started drumming and dancing for more than an hour. Today, he just looked at me with interest, as if observing a strange animal, and banged a big red stamp in the middle of a new page on my passport (doesnt he know Im saving on the pages so I dont have to get a new passport soon?) and sent me on my way.
Waga is certainly one of the finalists in the most disgusting capital of the world competition. Unpaved roads, 1-story houses and everything is run down and neglected.
Only a few hours in Waga and I already feel the difference between it and Ghana. First of all everything is at least double the price than in Ghana (I always compare the prices of Sprite bottles. If you didnt know till now, Im a spriteholic). Second, while in Ghana no one will nag and bother you on the streets because you are a tourist, here the number of ticks is unbelievable.
I sleep in a place that all profits go to finance 52 orphans. The guesthouse itself is run by 2 girls and is one of the best I stayed in lately. Not so much because of the conditions but because of the atmosphere.
Today I had a fun day. It started waking up spontaneously at 6:30 and coffee on the hammock. At noon I went with an Austrian friend for a swim in the pool of one of the most expensive hotels in town. Wait, its still not over. Tonight we are supposed to go to a pub with live reggae music.
Sitting beside me is a Dutch girl, Jose is her name, since the first day I arrived here she is having her hair done, African style. That was 2 and half days ago. Its insane the amount of work put into these braids. When its finished, she promised to let me count how many braids she has. (I later counted them. She had 345 brads!)
The cutest little girl I have ever seen in my life is sitting on my knees now. 3 years old, little braids full of beads and a smile that simply melts me. What a shame that I cant speak French. Despite this, its half an hour already that we manage to communicate. I asked her mom if she is willing to sell her and seriously she answered that to sell no but to lend her to me for a few years there is no problem. To bad my backpack is full ..
Today I went diving. I dove into the blue eyes of Mirijam, the Dutch girl that sat beside me on the bus, and imagined to myself that Im in the depth of the sea where its cool and fresh. Reality was also wet but from sweat.
Sitting in a guesthouse, in a clay town called Dori, watching Africans watching TV. Amazing these Africans. They react to what is said on TV with voices of agreement/objection/surprise .
Sitting and waiting for Mirijam to take me for dinner. Chicken she promised me, not knowing that in order to win my heat all she has to do is offer me meat of any kind.
Im on my way to Gorom Gorom, in northeast Burkina, where tomorrow (Thursday) the weekly market will take place. All the tribes of the area attend this market including desert people from Mali. Some claim that its the most colorful market in Burkina. True its a bit far from Waga the capital, about a 10 hour bus ride mostly on a rough dirt road, but I still dont understand why no one from the guesthouse in Waga didnt want to come with me and didnt even have plans going there.
No chicken and no nothing. Avocado salad she fed me. Salad is food for goats. Thats it, with me she has had it. From now on I can her bloody mary.
I just came back from the Gorom Gorom market. At 7am I was already sitting on a small truck, with no seats, full of sacks, bags, kids, people and assistance to the driver who tried to charge me double than everyone else. It didnt workout for him. Every time when I was sure that this is it and there is absolutely no more space on the truck, 2-3 more people would climb up. Not only that on each foot 3 people were sitting, and Im not counting children, a cool oldie was sitting on my back and a few more were hanging from the bars above my head with their feet dangling down right in front of my nose (they have to do their feet, pedicure, urgently).
Every few minutes the truck would stop and load a few more people and their belongings. Now, on top of everybody else, I also have a fat young woman sitting on my ribs. We all eat so much dust. I could hardly keep my eyelids open from the weight of the dust on them. Felt like an ice cube in a cocktail shaker only that the ingredients were bags, people, kids and dust instead of cinnamon. You know what, it was all worth it. The moment I got of the truck, 3 women from the Peul tribe passed by me, their hair weaved into long beads. At the end of each bead was a large silver coin. It took me 15 minutes to manage and close my mouth from the amazement.
And the market. Women riding donkeys, men from the Toureg tribe (a desert tribe) with long white dresses, Arabic turban and long swords and smells I cant describe. For an hour I didnt stop mumbling to my self amazing, amazing. Im serious. The only thing spoiling the experience were all those kids and young men who where following me around all the time shouting Levlon, Levlon (white, white).
A shame that this amazing people are not willing to be photographed, but that is exactly why god created the zoom lens .