On board a flight to Brussels, via London. Neither one of these is my final destination, of course. London is just a brief layover. Brussels was to be the same, but having never been there, i decided to turn it into a two night/one day visit on each end of the trip. Just a brief stop to enjoy a bit of Europe before i carry on to the focus of my holiday: Burkina Faso. Since everyone keeps asking me why Burkina Faso (and where it is), i'll start there.
I don't have a really good reason for choosing Burkina Faso. I wanted to go somewhere in West Africa and Burkina Faso caught my attention. It is small, off the radar of most tourists, and is known for being a friendly country with a good arts and music scene. Plus, in what really was the deciding factor, the capital is Ouagadougou ("wa-ga-doo-goo" go on, say it. It's most enjoyable). How could i not go to a place called Ouagadougou? Right? And so off i go.
Burkina Faso is located just under Mali and next to Niger in West Africa. It was called Upper Volta until the 1980s, at which time it received its new name, which means "land of upright men" or "land of honest men" in the local language. It is usually ranked as one of the poorest counties in the world. Low literacy rates, frequent coups, occasional kidnappings, and in January of this year a particularly bad terrorist attack, so these things might keep the tourists at bay. Plus, there really aren't any sites of note in the country. Some mud mosques i am interested in, sprawling markets, wildlife, and some hiking, but there is nothing famous. Everything i have read about it from past visitors has been positive. I don't know exactly what i'll see or do, but i am excited to find out.
But first, a day or so in Brussels, and then i am hoping to make the most of a layover in Casablanca and get to see something of the city, but we'll see how things go at the airport.
I am so delighted to be off. As i write this i am flying to London. The guy in front of me has his seat all the way back and the girl next to me has thrown up twice, but i am happy just to be here. I shall report again from Brussels.