Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Its suddenly hit me that I am happy, happier than I have been in many a day.

Burkina Faso is no paradise, it is one of the poorest West African nations in the region with a majority managing on one US doller a day - keep in mind that a pint bottle of fanta is around $ 1.30.

The truth is I thrive away from my office. The day to day monotony of warming a seat, gazing into the blue screen of a computer, irrespective of what is actually on the screen, gets to me and tires me to the edge of my tether. I dislike office politics, having to watch the stream of long tongue practitioners ply their art to get through just another day, the power plays of the insecure, the whip cracking authority figures who have to just because they can. And I hate that I am looked upon as an oddity, disliked merely because I refuse to toe the line and march to the beat of the drum everyone else tries to conform to. My creed is simply that I do my job to the best of my ability, deliver what is expected of me when it is, and to ensure that what I do, is sustainable.

And I am away from the tensions of my personal life, of the emotional pulls that drag me in all directions, that critique my feelings, the agenda of so called well meaning souls refusing to understand that I deserve to be happy, that ultimately no one lives my life but me alone.

I am away from it all, and I would be the lighter for it if there was one I did not miss...

I have fallen in love with Ouagadougou, with Burkina Faso, with the dust and the flies and the poverty. With the almost incomprehensible francophone chatter all around me as I try to maneuver my way through the market streets from one client to another, from one place to the other. The initial day here is usually a blur, followed by a gradual immersion into this lovely god forsaken place. The telephone card sellers, the petrol pump attendants, the old man by the mosque steps eventually become accustomed to the sight of me lagging my stuffed laptop bag on the way to the market place in the morning, back to my hotel in the afternoon with a repeat performance again at 3. The staff at 4 Seasons start to treat me as a regular, sooner than later learning to anticipate my "Une Castel s’il vous plaît" each evening as I step in for a leisurely dinner. Unlike at home, I spend close to an hour over my meal, sipping my beer watching the wo rld go past, looking with care at the menu, rounding off my meal with a cup of cafe o lay and then ambling back to my bed...

I could grow used to this life, living away from it all,,drawing in my orders moving around the region on a regular basis, breathing in the beauty that is peculiar to Africa!

And I have been fortunate, two orders fallen into my lap, another one on the verge of confirmation and two more to clinch in the course of the next two weeks. And then the new market that I am looking at, Nigeria.

Perhaps I can lose myself here... that sounds pretty good to me, it sounds right to me, it may sound right to someone else too...

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