Details

Instead of taking a bus for the five hour drive to Bobo Dioulasso, I took the 40 minute plane ride in a small twin engine prop plane, operated by Air Colombe. Based on the language of the instructions and the accent of the crew, I deduced that it was run by a Portuguese company.

It was the most efficient airline trip I have ever taking (other than my own flights). Drive to the airport 5 minutes; check-in 2 minutes, security control 1 minute and waiting for boarding 20 minutes – from hotel to sitting down in the plane 45 minutes. I was hardly able to finish drinking my breakfast: a cappuccino (from a package) and a giant and greasy pain au chocolat.

One of the planes parked at the airport had a red and white tail marking that looked like a Coco-Cola ad from a distance. For a moment I did actually think that Coca Cola ads were sustaining the domestic airline industry, what a concept. But it turned out that it was the marking of a domestic or regional carrier.. I can just imagine some entrepreneur dragging out of his unconscious some good feeling coke association and designing his company’s logo.

I settled into my hotel which is run by people who don’t pay attention to details, such as whether your door lock works, water runs through the toilet, shower has water and everywhere cement splatters on walls and doors.

I had lunch with my colleague who is brandnew here himself, and tried to extract as much information as I could about the organization I am about to work with. Tomorrow is still holiday (Easter) and we are working in an empty office. I had dinner alone in a giant restaurant. I seem to be the only guest, while watching France’s TV5 for the 100th time replaying France’s news of the day.

The heat was interrupted by a violent thunder and rainstorm while I tried to fall asleep under a fan to augment the effect of the feeble airco. The fan made a clickety clack sound, like a horse galloping or two coconut shells clicking together. And so I galloped into a deep sleep.

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