Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 3 - All that jazz...

On Easter Monday, word spread that power cuts were to become more frequent, in order to compensate for the cut-free Easter period. According to an official schedule published by SONABEL (Burkina Faso's national electricity provider), they would alternate between 8:00-15:00 o'clock and 15:00-23:00 o'clock over the coming week, varying by region. It turns out that our plan - to manage our activities over the following weeks accordingly - was more than a little optimistic. By Tuesday, things were already out of sync.

Water also proved a luxury over the next seven days, there being none at all in our ‘district’ through Wednesday and Thursday. (In a nod to the country's French colonial heritage, Ouaga is divided into five arrondissements and 30 or so districts.) By the end of the week, our water reserves - stored in a giant green basin in the corner of our kitchen - were near gone, bucket-washes having become the norm. 

Somehow - bearing in mind that our daily commute takes just five minutes on foot - there was water at work. As well as being crucial to the soya production process, this means that Madame Lucie, Djigui’s resident chef, can continue preparing the wonderful salads which we’ve been treated to every lunchtime!

Salade vegetarienne - tokan, avocat, onion, laitue, tomate, vinaigrette a la moutarde.

Speaking of food...

With much of the national cuisine oriented around meat and starch dishes (just ask William, who struggles to go a day without waxing lyrical about chicken), soya-based products, like vegetarian eateries, are relatively hard to find. As a result, building on the work of previous cohorts, we have drafted a list of restaurants to visit over the coming week, with a view to increase Djigui's client base. We'll keep you updated on our progress :)


The week drew to a close with an electric evening of live music at the Institut Français, Ouagadougou’s cultural hub. To inaugurate Burkina Faso’s Jazz à Ouaga festival, which lasts from 25 April until 3 May, the Marseille-based Ahmad Compaoré Trio took to the stage with an eclectic fusion of afrobeat and improvised jazz. 

The Ahmad Compaoré Trio.
World-renowned musician, Toumani Diabaté, who has two Grammys under his belt, followed suit with his kora (an elegantly crafted bridge-harp) in tow. Accompanied by his son, Sidiki, and The Symétric Orchestra, the Malian brought the crowd to its feet.
Toumani and Sidiki, each with their own kora.
A great evening had by all and a brilliant opportunity to take in the sounds of some of West Africa's most noteworthy artists!

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