Ouaga # 1
Ouagadougou Travel Blog› entry 23 of 50 › view all entries
My boyfriend had some appointments in Ouaga, so we had to spend a couple of days there. I spent most of my time relaxing at the hotel. After all, there is not much to see or do in Ouaga, I was on vacation and the Pavillon Vert (see my review) is like an oasis of peace and quiet in the middle of Burkina's capital.
But I wasn't lazy all the time. I visited the Museum of Music, for starters. It's in a temporary location while the permanent building is being revamped (seems to be quite a prestigious project) and therefore less than the entire collection is currently on display, but it was still very interesting. Even with the smaller collection, it was allready a lot of information to take in (not just about the instruments themselves, but also about the different peoples of Burkina and their traditions), so I'm sort of glad there wasn't more. After the guide showed me all the instruments, he took me to another room where I got to listen to the instruments being used live. There was only one musician present at the time, but the guide joined in as well and I got to enjoy a pleasant little private performance.
After that I went to the Village Artisanal, which is basically a giant souvenir shop, with many of the items on sale being produced on the site. I bought a black and blue bag made out of recycled plastic. A girl can never have to many bags ;) After that, my driver for the day drove me around Ouaga 2000, a bizarre new suburb of huge villas; the kind of places that would be considered big and cost a fortune in Europe, so compared to the tiny houses most Burkinabe live in, it seemed very much out of place.
One night, we were on our way to the centre by moped, when I heard my boyfriend screaming, and he swerved to the side of the road. Then I saw two guys fighting, and later I saw there was a white woman with them too. My boyfriend (whose eyes are more accustomed to the dark, apparantly, because our headlight wasn't working and I hadn't noticed anything) had seen the three of them walking, and then the "bad guy" had tried to grab the womans purse. When that was unsuccesful, he apparantly stabbed the woman and her companion with a knife. The police showed up when they heard my bf screaming, but the attacker had allready fled the scene. My bf said if I hadn't been with him, he would've gone right after him. So I guess I'm glad I was with him, 'cause I don't see what he could have done against someone with a knife other than getting himself stabbed too. When I said later he was a hero he kind of shrugged it off, but still, those people were quite lucky we showed up when we did. The man was stabbed in the arm, the woman in the leg and foot. Some people from the Les Palmiers hotel (which was only a few meters from where it happened) took them to the hospital by car and we followed on moped. When we got there, the woman was almost fainting, we had to support her in. The man pretended to be OK, but you could see he was in a lot of pain. Luckily there seemed to be no permanent damage. We ran into the man later on (him and I hadn't even recognised each other until my bf showed up) and he was fine btw.
Another unpleasant thing in Ouaga was the huge number of mosquitos and other insects, probably due to the recent floods. I covered myself in mosquito repellant and we slept under a mosquito net, but still after a day and a half or so, I was covered in mosquito bites. And I don't know if it's just me, but African mosquito bites always seem to be far more itchy, and leave bigger marks. Later on people would ask me what happened to me to get all those red marks on my skin. And yet more unpleasant consequenses were to follow.