Thursday, 27 September 2012

Burkina Faso

Though I spent August in Ghana visiting my friend I was also very keen to visit Burkina Faso while I was in western Africa.
I first went to Burkina Faso in 2004. I went as part of a gap year before I started uni. We were a group of 6 girls, all of us 18 or 19 and in the same situation, taking a year out before beginning university.
I have wanted to go back and visit often. Somehow it never happened until this year.
 It was a long and uncertain journey from my friend's village in northern Ghana to Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso. I left her village at 5am on a Wednesday and didn't arrive in Ouaga until 10am the following Saturday. This was mostly due to uncertainty about buses and when it would be possible to travel, I spent most of the intervening time watching Friends DVDs in a rented house in the nearest large town in Ghana. I got an overnight bus on Friday and had to buy a visa at the border. I got to Ouaga tired and dirty but so glad to be there and to see friends again.
It felt very odd to be back there again. In some ways, it felt like going home. Ouagadougou was the first place I lived without my family and I felt that instant connection again, that closeness that you could just slot back in to the old life. At the same time, it was 8 years ago that I was last there. Friend there who are my age are mostly married with children, some have children in school now. The children I knew, my neighbours and pupils are grown up. The son of a dear friend and pastor who in 2004 was 5 had recently turned 13 and was taller than his father.
Life changes, people grow up and move on, cities develop, new roads and buildings are built.
I am hopeful that I won't leave it as long before I visit again.


  1. What an adventure! And, what an amazing feeling to have a home at the other side of the globe. I have a few places around the world that I also feel that instant connection with, not because I've lived there, most often it's got something to do with the culture, the people and the atmosphere.

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment. It is amazing when you get that "now I'm home" feeling and it does happen in the most unusual of places