Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Work took me to the South Western part of Burkina Faso, to Bobo Dioulasso and further to the dusty sleep town of Banfora
Banfora is just 60km from the border with Cote d'Ivoire, and surrounded by a lush green countryside.
I was drawn to this area by the Peaks de Sindou, a range of sandstone 'mountains' that over the eons has been sculptured by the elements into out worldly shapes. Classified as a 'World Treasure" these peaks are awe inspiring in their splendor. The drive here from Banfora is a along a 50km dirt track, one that in the wet season must surely become impassable. But on this day, just after a sudden rain storm, the surface was smooth enough to do 120 for most of the distance - a rally drivers experience indeed!
Sleepy Banfora was just what I needed, to rest up and recuperate. I'm sorry that time did not permit more than a day off for me to experience this beautiful part of BF. But I did get a nice send off. As I drove out of town I came across a bunch of imps upon a donkey cart. A handful of lollipops had smiles on their faces and a wonderful photo op for me too!
Returning to Bobo I went in search of the Grand Mosquee - an 18th century mud structure and a beautiful representation of Sahel architecture. Inside there is room to seat 800 of the faithful as they gather every day to kneel in prayer. The immediate surroundings are tranquil, serving the community as a place to meet and socialize. The wooden struts serve two purposes, one as the supports upon which the Mosquee is built and the other as scaffolding for repairs and re plastering.
As I drove around Bobo I was fortunate to come across the celebration of a marriage. Part of the street had been commanded to accommodate all the guests, all women who arrived dressed in their finery each bearing a chair to sit upon!The celebration consisted of the women taking turns to dance in the middle pausing to kiss one another and tuck money into the bride; hand. Where the groom was I had no idea!
Ah, life in Africa!
As is customary, more on flickr!