Monday, September 28, 2009

What can you transport on a motorcycle?

can you imagine what people can transport on the back of a motorcycle? I dare you! Answer: just about anything! from refridgerators to an entire cow which has been cut into pieces!

Friday, September 25, 2009


Living in Burkina Faso means tolerating a certain amount of unwanted houseguests... ants, cockroaches, crickets, lizards... they all live in with me, but don't think they pay rent!

This week I painfully discovered I have new houseguests, ones I hadn't met before. I woke up in the middle of the night being bitten hard by something in my bed..ouch! Then it bit me again, double-ouch! I knew this was no little mosquito-bite or ant-bite. I turned on the lights and saw... a scorpion in my bed!!! Panic!

When I arrived here last november I thought scorpions were deadly. Luckily I had found out that this is not true, that scorpion-bites hurt a lot, but won't kill you. And luckily, Johan was with me that night, so I could make him suck out the poison. Imagine I had been alone and thinking I would die! This not being the case I was just bitten and hurting. All in all the bites didn't bother me all too much, the next day they were just red marks. I think the scorpion (which Johan killed mercilessly) was still a baby, it was smaller than usual, so I guess I was lucky. Still, I have hung up my mosquito-net and tuck it in tight now. Houseguests, fine, but unwanted bed-guests, no thanks!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ouagadougou flooded!!!

Burkina Faso is known as one of the driest countries on earth. The rainy season, which lasts from about may/june to september/october, brings with it rains which often fall suddenly and heavily, but only come every two or three days. The rest of the year: not a drop! This is one of the reasons why I am working here: to increase the acces to water.

But this week, on tuesday september 1st, something quite the opposite happened: an extreme downpour plunged the whole capital Ouagadougou into the water. After a never-before seen downpour of 260 mm (whereas the total rainfall in one year would be about 600-700 mm) the entire capital was flooded. Water everywhere.

The city is not well equiped for this kind of weather, and thus about 150 000 people have lost their house and just about everything they own. Many poor people live in houses built with mud bricks, which melt like sugar in such extreme rain. And because of the speed with which the water rose many people did not have time to save their belongings. This is a hard blow to people who are already struggling for survival.

How come it's already friday, and still nothing has appeared about this on the news in Europe? Not important enough?


check out this video on youtube

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