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Over dinner Saturday night we were talking about how Burkina Faso compares with other countries in West Africa. Hmm...the most you can say about living here is that it's easy to get to other, more interesting places. So the best thing about Burkina Faso is that you can leave?

In my expat bubble my mind is everywhere except Ouagadougou, or even Burkina Faso. Events pass by with barely a ripple in my personal life. Presidential elections? A chance to catch up with my friend James who's one of the BBC journalists covering the event. Local elections? Coincided with the final of MoBob's soccer tourney. Strike? No one came. Avian flu? As long as Bruno the chicken merchant of death isn't affected, it's not on my radar screen. Instead I think of distant friends in other places and I pray and hope for their safety. For all of the problems here in Burkina Faso - hunger, unemployment, illiteracy, and so on - it is a tranquil and mellow place. As far as I know, at any rate...my expat bubble keeps me safe.



Speaking of distant friends, Mandy posted a review from the Seattle Times on her film "In the Land of the Free?": In the superb "In the Land of the Free?" documentary showing at the Eve Alvord Theatre, two professional Jordanian men living in Seattle noted with some irony that they had immigrated to America because it was a more open society. After 9/11, they said, they felt less able to speak their minds here than in Jordan.
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