2016 Burkina Day 15: Trip to Bobo Dioulasso

Day 15, Trip to Bobo Dioulasso

21 January 2016

 

I found last year’s bus trip to Bobo Dioulasso on the STAF bus hair-raising. They drove too fast. Marcel recommended a new bus service that was safer and air-conditioned: TSR. We booked a round trip ticket. But we had the whole morning free.

You remember Diane Alida? She was a secondary school drop out who qualified to get into nursing school. Père Albert asked us to help her. She gets up at 5 a.m., leaves at 6:00 a.m. to walk to school by 7:30 a.m. I decided to give her a bicycle; my Board agreed.

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Marcel took me to a bicycle store.

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We picked one out, but I had to try it first.

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We put it in the trunk.

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We delivered it to her home. She was in school, but her Dad was there. I told him how the anti-theft device worked. He thanked me, extending his left hand. He seemed partly paralyzed.

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Back at Père Albert’s house I had lunch before leaving—one of Julienne’s delicious omelets accompanied by the national beer—Brakina.

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The TSR bus was sleek and relatively new (10-15 years old?).

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Marcel tucked my suitcase into a protected corner of the hold, next to a derelict motorcycle.

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There were overhead viewing screens with music videos blaring, just like STAF, except STAF didn’t have screens. A dubitable advantage.

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I tried not to listen, as I looked out the tinted glass windows at peaceful scenery.

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TSR made the same three or four stops as STAF, each with its throngs of ambulatory merchants.

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Africa seems littered from stem to stern with plastic bags. Someone should figure out how to make money from this.

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We arrived right on time, 284 km and four and a half hours later. Dr. Etienne Traore, a recent retiree of the World Health Organization and Director of our Health Fund, was waiting for me.

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Dr. Traore would accompany on my visits here, but I would stay with other friends, Dr. Odile Pagezy and her husband Yves. He dropped me off at their house. Yves retired this past year and they moved out of the company home and found this nice rental at the end of a quiet street.

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This is the third or fourth year that they’ve graciously put me up and fed me.

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France

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