19 Aug 2009 Burkina Faso Day 2

We slept in today. We awoke at 7:30 am! There were two highlights to the morning –€“ breakfast and washing our clothes.

Since we enjoyed our dinner so much we decided to have Petite Dejune in the hotel. Our waiter brought us each a small plate with a 2×1 inch rectangle, light yellow in color. Oh NO could it be beure real honest to goodness butter. My hand shook as i picked up my knife. My mouth was watering at the hope. I took a small corner of the buerre and tasted. YES! Butter! Real creamy sweet unsalted butter! I would be satisfied if I ate nothing else the rest of the day. Of course I did eat but the butter tasted that good.

We were served our bagette and our cafe au lait and the. We both used every scrid of butter on the plate. It was only out of respect for Lenore that I didn’t use my finger to get the lasts bits of butter.

Ok so on to the second highlight. You might wonder how washing clothes could be highlight after we just ate real butter for the first time in over a year? Well good travel companions always have a sense of humor. Let me tell you how Lenore’s manifested itself washing clothes.

The only place we could fill the bucket was under the shower head. The water was dispersed in a wide radius so Lenore had to hold the bucket up over her head to catch all the water. When the bucket got half full Lenore called me into our 3×9 shower/bathroom and said she needed to hold the bucket with both hands. She asked me to turn on and off the water. So Lenore is standing under the shower with a bucket held over her head. I am standing between here and the toilet. I think Lenore should put the bucket on her head. Lenore obviously thinks the same thing because she does.  We are talking and in a moment suds and water start flowing out of the bucket. We both think Lenore has tipped the bucket so she tries to adjust the bucket and more water and suds splash out on to me and on to her. Finally I dawns on me that the bucket is full and I turn off the water.

Oh I tried so hard not to laugh while this was happening, not knowing if Lenore will think getting her pants soaked is funny. I try to make conciliatory noises but just when I can’t hold it any longer she bursts out laughing. Oh we laughed so hard.

We needed to purchase chips for our phones so we could at least communicate with each other if we got lost. On the way to the Peace Corps office we saw a stall. They tried to charge us 5,000 CFAs. Well I didn’t need a phone bad enough to pay 16 Ghana Cedis for it. Geesh, wer are not right off the boat guys. We walked away and even when they called us back we would not go. I felt the overpricing bordered on theft and did not want to deal with them. It seems Lenore had similar ideas, she ignored them as well.

With the laundry done and Lenore’s pants dry we head off to the Peace Corps office. This time we were invited in and greeted warmly. The secretary lead us to Daniel’s office. He is an APCD in Burkina Faso. Daniel talked to us for at least a half an hour. Telling us things we should see in Ouagadougou, in Bobo Duilasso and especially Banfora. The list of things he gave us for Ouagadougou would have kept us there a week. But he encouraged us to go to Banofora.

We then went to the computer room where we met David, Kristin and Rick. We visited a while and got the scoop on a few things like the price of phone cards. We were right to think they were charging way too much. Rick said we should pay 1,000 CFAs for une puce, a chip.

Then we walked and walked. We twisted and turned back on our route looking for alternative lodging. It was a long and exhausting midday only to find the cheaper lodgings were full.

The afternoon was saved by a ham and cheese sandwich at the Paridisio Restaurant. Lenore had a cheese and mushroom crepe. So at last I have my cheese and ham as well. The customer service was again great. The atmosphere was charming.

On the way back to the hotel we met a woman sellling bananas and peanuts. She taught us the word for peanut –€“ arachide and we figured banan was banana. Two more words to our French lexicon. Although we didn’t speak the same language I will remember that we communicated with this woman. I left feeling we were all enriched by the meeting. This is one reason I like to travel. Even when we don’t speak the same language friendly souls find a way to communicate with each other.

It was time for a nap! I was beat from walking in the heat of the day.

We decided to go to the restaurant around the corner La Dolce Vita. The physical restaurant was tres belle. It was a modified summer hut with a thatch roof. The ends were open but the road wall was enclosed as well as the wall against the building. I assumed they cooked in the building. It incorporated three tree trunks in the dining area. The trees, I am sure, making it cooler at noon. There were padded wooden chairs. Wooden tables with two tablecloths, white on the bottom and maroon  kitty corner over the white.

Our waiter was dressed in black pants, a maroon jacket (matching the tablecloth) with a white bib. “€œBon Nuit”€ he said in greeting. We replied “€œBon Nuit. Cava?”€  We continued through  the customary African greetings in French. I was pretty proud of us that we could greet in French. Both of us work on the principal of finding one or two words we recognized and then trying to answer. When asked in French if we were Angleterre or Germaine we could reply that we were Americans but we lived in Ghana. That evening talking with this waiter we refined our guessing and pantomiming communication style.

We both ordered a salad. We hoped for tomato and mozzarella but alas they were out of mozzarella. So I had a garden salad with vinaigrette dressing. My main course was spinach lasagna. It was different. There were two lasagna noodles. It seemed they were boiled then fried. Between the noodles was spinach and goat cheese. As soon as I got Grace Freese’s, (my ex mother-in-law) lasagna out of my mind i enjoyed this dish.

Lenore had a vegetarian thin crust pizza. It was covered with plenty of vegetables including squash and Greek olives. Lenore also had a salad but I can’t remember which one.

The piece de la resistance? Fraise glace, une boule. Lenore had chocolate glace, une boule. There were pieces of strawberry in my ice cream. It was rich and creamy and there was not enough!

That night I am sure I slept with a smile on my face.

-vc

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