Taking a breather, in Ouagadougou…

Another quick update, more on my whereabouts than anything else. This weekend I’m in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. I don’t know if I can reasonably justify travelling to Ouagadougou for the weekend while I’m supposed to be carrying out my household surveys in Ghana, but I do have a couple of good reasons, or so I believe.

First reason is that I have actually completed household surveys at one of the sites and needed to take a break. A weekend-off sounded like a good idea (what an irony here though, as weekends are supposed to be taken off anyway!) when my friends in Tamale said they were driving up to Ouaga for the weekend, and whether I would be interested in “coming along”. I did need some pursuading by my friends, but not that much to be honest. I think I really needed a “breather” from the work in Ghana, and what better option there could be for going away to take a breather than coming to the capital of a Francophone country!?! Good food, nice music, good-looking and well-dressed women, and lots to do if I was up for the night-outs, and so on. Well, I think I can justify this trip, don’t you?

The second reason is even more justifiable in my opinion. My current stay permit for Ghana expires at the end of this month (November). I had two options to extend the permit – to submit an application at the local Immigration Services Department in Tamale, or to exit and re-enter the country, whereby I would be issued a new stay permit – for 30 or 60 days from the date of my re-entry – at the border. This second option looked the more attractive when I finished the surveys in one of the communities last week, and that my friends were already travelling, so I could join in with only a small contribution on my part. And now I’m in Ouaga. The only problem now is to find things to do, especially during the daytime on Sunday, as everything seems to be closed today. Luckily this internet cafe is open, so I can check my email. Write e-mails to tellboast to my friends and relatives that I am “writing them from Burkina Faso”, and check what is happening elsewhere in the world, and not to mention update my own blog(s).

By the way, I got to see a beautiful sunrise this morning from my hotel-room window. I have taken a few snaps, which I would be posting here and/or on poudyal blog as soon as I can get a card reader at this cafe (unfortunately the machine I choose – the one with English keyboard – doesn’t have a built-in card reader!). And before my current credit runs out, let me his the “publish” button. More later…

2 thoughts on “Taking a breather, in Ouagadougou…

  1. I believe this is the first time I’m commenting FIRST on my own post…but what the heck!?! I just couldn’t be bothered to go through the process of logging in and then creating a new post to just write a few-line-post.

    So here is what I would have written as a separate post:

    Well, today was another partly boringinteresting (just being an optimist here!) day in Ouaga. I wanted to buy some local arts and crafts (some presents for some people) before I leave, as this will be my last trip to Burkina during this field season. But the prices were just too much. My rule in bargaining here is that I offer half the price that the sellers quote when I first ask. If they agree or at least show flexibility around that price while bargaining, I might continue the process of bargaining and add a little to that “half-price”. If they just flatly refuse then I walk away. So, at one stall, I did buy an item, whereas on another where I was planning to spend a bit more on quite a few items (if the price was right), we couldn’t come to an agreement, so no purchase. And I probably spent only an hour or so in this shopping trip. Anyway, I’m back at my favourite internet cafe here, spending the last few minutes of the credit that I had purchased earlier today.

    I’m going back to Tamale tomorrow, and will be busy the next week trying to wrap up my survey works.

    Second week of December, I’m planning to make an overland trip to Benin via Togo (more updates later as things become clearer to myself). After I come back from Benin, I’ll have ten days or so to wrap everything up for this field season and go back to York. I’m actually really looking forward to going back after nearly seven months here; although it’ll take some getting used to in English winter, after half a year in this warm climate! I think I’m ready for that challenge though…

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