My second day in Bobo Dioulasso was a delight. I had a relaxing breakfast in the garden with my cigar and got some useful advice from Franka, the owner. I walked to a shop, on a lovely path through a garden / park and across a foot bridge over what at certain times of the year may be a small river, but is now a dusty canal that collects garbage.
The shop is one selling crafts all made by women and which supports women's education and causes. For the first time on this trip i did a bit of shopping, which was fun. I chatted with the girl working there, en francais, and was amused by her big eyed reaction to learning my age. That is a theme here. I tell someone (when asked) how old i am and their eyes widen in shock. They all think i am a lot younger (merci) and 40 is quite old in a country where the lifespan is only about 50 in most parts.
I then visited L'Institute Française, which is an arts and cultural centre, with a gallery, classes, concerts and a cafe. I took in the sculptures, made mostly of refuse, and sat in the garden cafe.
This was quite a treat. The coming weekend was a festival of circus arts and there in the courtyard i got to watch a troop of acrobats from France performing in the trees, while a band of locals performed music. It was great. And i chatted with a Swiss woman and several local guys while having delicious ginger juice and bissap (a juice made from the flower of some plant). I'm amazed i have not gotten sick yet.
After that, i declined three marriage proposals and then went for lunch, which was an event because i tried "to" (that should have an accent circonflex). To is a paste made from sorghum, millet or corn, which is shaped into white balls. It is kind of like a gelatinous cream of wheat and looks like a breast implant. It is served with sauce and you break off chunks and dip it into the sauce. It's ok. Tasteless. I had it with an okra sauce, which was pleasant and slippery.
In the evening i napped in the hammock at the hotel, went for another walk to get some dinner (rice and sauce) and smoked a cigar back at the hotel. Bobo Dioulasso has been so pleasant, i am hesitant to leave, but on to Banfora in the morning, where some nature adventures should await.
A few more random photos from Bobo...