Traveling from Ouagadougou to the Bush
I just returned from an amazing adventure in Burkina Faso West Africa. On my trip I encountered a very different experience than I had when I visited 12 years ago. The video in this posting was taken while riding out of Ouagadougou the capital city of Burkina Faso out into a remote village to visit a very unique shaman. The days were long, the weather was hot and as always the magic of Africa was present. Although we were surrounded by abject poverty the smiles on the children’s faces and the warm reception that we received from the village people was unbelievable. My heart was so deeply touched at how happy people can be with nothing. We spent hours waiting under a mango tree to see the shaman watching the villagers passed by and watching them heard their livestock throughout the day. Then to be in the presence of such a deeply connected spiritual man was an overwhelming pleasure.
Survival of the Fittest
It’s hard to imagine how these people survive and more importantly how they remain so incredibly happy in this place where there is no relief from the heat, the dust, and the trash which is spread everywhere! There are pigs running around the street. Goats, donkeys, and dogs running helter-skelter everywhere. On our way out to this amazing place I experienced how people do business. You will see people selling bread and bananas and rice cakes at the toll booth where we had to stop and you will see how we go from the city, to the suburbs, to the place where we are literally driving our van on bike paths. Here is a photo of some young men that we met in the village while we were waiting to see the shaman that day. They were so happy to have their picture taken they kept coming around as we sat under the mango tree. We later were invited to join their village in a small celebration with boiled potatoes and millet beer as we sat under their mango tree and shared time with them. The longer we stayed the more people gathered and it became quite a community celebration. We ended up going out into this village for another visit later that week after our trip to Dano and got to see these young man again. The joy of their lives as they played, wrestled, and ran through the millet fields was delightful to see. Is amazing enough that these young people survive in this horrific environment. The amazing thing to me is that in this environment of abject poverty, and difficulty they maintain a very high degree of connectedness to the land and to their community.