My first thought on arriving in Loumbila was that I had seriously underestimated the African insect situation. It was midnight, and after a four hour delay at the airport, three lost bags, and an hour’s drive we had arrived for our in-county training. Mercifully, I realised that our Burkinabé teammates were also surprised by the sheer number of flying, bitey things greeting us. In the absence of human habitation, nature had moved in. The welcome party in my room, a stag beetle the size of a mouse, was swiftly “neutralised” by my team mate, and we set about the rest with bug spray. By morning the crisis had been tamed to a level that could be dealt with by the local geckos and a bit of DEET.
Three days later and we’re getting settled in. We’ve finished our training and are heading towards our projects, still slightly hazy on the paperwork details. I’m definitely enjoying “African time”, which basically means it’s OK to be late to everything. The food is delicious (even the local “Brakina” beer is literally worth writing home about), the music is great, the burkinabé are beautiful people- I’m yet to find anything not to love.
I’ve also met Dramane, my co-team leader. This guy has to live and work with me for six months straight. That’s right. Bravest man in Burkina Faso.
Tomorrow we’ll start handover with the current team leaders and get planning our six months. I’m guessing the “holiday mood” is about to disappear under a mountain of work. So with that in mind, I’m zipping myself into my mosquito net fortress and getting some (very sticky and sweaty) sleep.
Over and out.