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This weekend I thought about how unfair it was that Burkina Faso is my last country in Africa, and not my first.

Compared to other places that I've been, Burkina Faso falls short. Wild animals? Saw them in Kenya and Tanzania. Masks? I transferred from Mali. Historic sites? Everywhere but here. Beaches? Don't make me laugh. Even the mighty Niger River bypasses Burkina Faso. Sadly, Burkina Faso is the only country in West Africa that does not have a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Despite the lack of any touristic value whatsoever (I mean, if you're going to pay for a plane ticket to Burkina Faso, you might as well go to Niger or Mali instead, or Ghana), BF is a great introduction to Africa. Ouagadougou is a mellow, liveable city; it's fairly easy to get around; and there's enough going on to keep life from getting too boring, like the Pan-African Film Festival.

Plus the people are just great. People here in general are very kind and easy-going. I've never been bothered going down the street. Street vendors go away after the initial "no." People don't randomly yell at each other in the street or follow you. My colleagues, friends, and neighbors have been wonderful. In the end it's the people that count, not the sites.

Even though Google Maps doesn't seem to recognize Ouagadougou.

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On August 22nd, 2006 10:17 am (UTC), leftvegdrunk commented:
Ouagadougou has been on my list of places to visit ever since I learned how to spell it properly. And I am not big on the touristy stuff, so it does indeed sound like a very interesting city.
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On August 22nd, 2006 10:19 am (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I've actually been to Wagga Wagga so it's a nice polyphonic symmetry. :)

Best time to come is probably for the FESPACO film festival. Alas, I won't be around when flemmarde visits Togo.
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On August 24th, 2006 04:44 am (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
my first
your message made me sad and nostalgic. though i suppose i'm a bit vulnerable now as it is nearly 1 am and i just had a phone interview for a job i really want and fear i won't get. en tous cas, burkina was my first african country. i loved it and i totally hear what you are saying. i was recently on google maps as well and was dismayed that i couldn't share ouaga with a friend. your map is great though and will do the trick. in fact, in many ways it is better than google maps. thanks!
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