Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ouahigouya: The Big City

So not a lot of news here. My host brother leaves tomorrow morning to Ouaga, and since I am staying in Ouahigouya until tomorrow evening, we had to say our goodbyes this morning. He goes between here and Ouaga every few months, so I will see him again sometime in January or February, but it was still kinda sad. He is really the only one whose French is good enough for me to converse with, but we have now less than two weeks with our host families. Time flies. I gave him a coffee table book on Virginia that I brought with me, and he really loved that.

Today, besides having a very in-depth Moorè session, we learned about moringa, which I had never heard of until PC. It is this remarkable tree whose leaves are incredibly packed full of nutrients. I really hope I can do some sort of moringa project at site.

Since there is not a lot of news to speak of (and I only have a short time before dinner), I thought I would share with you all the many excitements that Ouahigouya, my home away from home, has to offer besides this internet café. Since I don't know the names of most places, excuse the following nomenclatures. And these are only the most frequented places:

  • Sandwich lady - she sells bagette sandwiches filled with your choice of: sausage, beef, egg omelet, mayo, crudité (diced veggies), and other fillers. She also has yougurt (plain and banana), mougoudougou (spicy peanut butter balls), other treats
  • Chicken in a Bag - technically called (or located near) Hawaii Express Café, they serve grilled chicken (the whole bird only) with sautéed onions. It's a bit pricy but worth it just for the onions alone. Best when split between two or three people. You can also get brochettes (beef kababs) nearby as well
  • Caiman - the full name I believe is Cave Caiman, and this is a good hang-out when in town. It costs 50 CFA to park your bikes, but inside you can get brochettes, salads, french fries, and a lot of other stuff. A bit pricy but the fries are nice.
  • La Famille - a restaurant close to where we stay which serves more Burkinabe cuisine. You can often get riz gras (a rice dish), riz avec sauce d'arachid (rice with peanut sauce), to (a millet dish), and they have a really good spaghetti too. Prices are cheaper here too which is nice.
  • Bouvette du Coeur - basically serves the same things as La Famille only cheaper (and not as good in my opinion)
  • Hotel d'Amitie - this hotel caters to foreigners and while the pool is nice, the food is really expensive. But they do serve a 3500 CFA cheeseburger and fries is you want to dish out the dough (average meal elsewhere may be about 500 CFA). I haven't actually tried it yet, but some in our group have gone for it.
  • Citron lady - she makes little pouches of frozen goodness. You can buy frozen lemonade, chocolate milk, coffee, tea, bissap (made from hibiscus flowers) and many others. I visit here quite frequently. The closest thing I have to a Slurpee.
  • Pool - For 1000 CFA, you can swim all day in their pool. I have yet to partake, but I will definitely hit the pool come hot season.
  • Alimentation - there are 3 alimentations (small grocery store) that I frequent across town. It can be pretty pricy, but it is the only place to get a lot of Western foods and foodstuffs such as corn flakes, ravioli, chocolate, toilet paper etc.
  • Total - there are two Totals (gas station) which also act as small grocery stores as well.
  • Cinema - I have yet to go, but I plan to. They show American films and others but they are pretty old. So far, I've seen signs for Red Dragon, The Sum of All Fears, and Blood Diamond (which would be interesting to watch here) among others.
  • Marché - huge market that sells everything. I've gotten lost in it before.
And that is my town, at least as I know it now. And since Ouahigouya will only be 12 km away, it will stay my town for the next two years. Hopefully, I will continue to discover more and more interesting places after training ends. Anyway, I've gotta run. My chicken in a bag is waiting for me.

1 comment:

Jordan White said...

It sounds great, Eric--I think you'll have a wonderful time exploring the city and everything else for the next 2 years.

Take care,