Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Little Drive Through Ouaga

So since I normally just put my pictures in a slideshow you don't get any explanation of what you are looking at. I wanted to do something different with this post and have decided to take you on a short drive in Ouaga. I will be your guide....

Let's get going!

To start with you will see many bicycles, both pedal bikes and motor bikes. They look really old and probably are really old ;) Bicycles always ride on the right of the vehicle traffic, or at least they are supposed to...

It is also impossible to go out without seeing a donkey cart. The donkey carts usually carry garbage, but in other cases they can be rented to transport other things as well. There is a running joke with my friends and I about the donkey cart boys and the fact that Donkey Cart was a very popular video game at one point in time :)

Alas, there are gas stations in Burkina Faso. You can see it in the background of this scene. They have working pumps, but are few and far between and the gasoline is very expensive. However, usually motos just buy gas from someone in the market that pours the fuel into your tank using a funnel and the gas is poured from glass bottles. Far cry from safe or healthy.

AND you have the ditch diggers. There are open sewers in Ouaga and people have to dig them... People also have to shovel them out sometimes which is pretty foul.

Sadly there are moto accidents all the time. Not a week goes by that I don't see a crowd of people off to the side of the road. Notice the people bending over the man sitting on the ground hidden by the moto in front. The bikes are usually left on the road until the authorities arrive.

Where do mangos come from? Why the man with the gaint mango wagon of course! People who these carts carry all sorts of goods with them. I have seen whole carts loaded with bananas, bicycles, construction materials, ect. The are pulled by man power.

I don't really buy fruit from the sketchy guys with the gaint carts of fruit. I prefer the kind sweet ladies who have a semi permenant locations from which they sell their fruit. The mobile vendors who aren't there is the morning to be held accountable for their fruit waulity are no friend of mine. I would also like to point out the women use the same cloth for clothes as so for table coverings.

Need a pair of shoes. How about the ones hanging in your face? This shoe vendor is quite representative of retail shops in Ouagadougou. They aren't really shops at all, but more like stands at a state fair. The have everything out for display and they like to hang things. Hanging mechandise from tree branches is a favorite pastime of vendors here.

These bags contain flour, tapioca, sugar, peanuts, and sugared peanuts. If you need any of those things feel free to stop at one of the many tables like the ones you see here.

And finally to end this little adventure I leave you at the La Shopette. Yes, that blessed establishment that supplies my weekly alimentary needs. They don't have everything and their prices flucuate like a yo-yo, but it is small, friendly and locally run. They also have dried mangos. Enough said. I'm going to stop in and grab some rice, eggs, milk, and juice. Need anything?

Anyway, hope to see YOU around Ouaga the next time I'm out and about...