Friday, April 04, 2008
As I tried to go into the center of Ouaga this morning, I came across hundreds of protesters near the University. They seemed peaceful, but had all of the big Blvd Charles de G. (the major East-West axis in our section of the city) blocked. I turned back and went in on a more roundabout route.
Everything seemed calm in the town center and no one seemed to know what was happening over by the University.
I went to the bank and then went to mail a small box at the post office. At the regular window, they wanted over $60 US to send a 3.5 pound package to London!
So, I went around back to where the large parcels are sent out. It seems to be completely separate from the main office and the prices were certainly better. They asked for a little over $20 dollars. (This reminds me: while I have always had good experiences at the post office here, some people don't. I just heard from a friend whose family sent her a birthday card while she lived here in Ouaga. Her parents just got the card returned to them- THREE years later! The address was ONE digit off- instead of PO box 34001, they'd written 34007. ANd that was enough to get it lost for three years and then sent back to the USA. Crazy!)
I went on to Marina Market, the biggest supermarket in all of Burkina. Don't be impressed- it's not all that big. And while the shelves seem a little less empty than over at their competition, The Scimas, there is still little variety. No cream, sour cream, or anything like that.
I also noticed that they'd put out a bunch of canned okra! I'm guessing that's something that has been languishing in the back storeroom for months (if not years) and they finally trotted it out to help fill the thinning shelves. And I bet the person that ordered it in the first place got in big trouble! Maybe we don't have many things here in Burkina, but fresh okra is cheap and plentiful. I'm guessing that the canned version, being very expensive, is going to be a very tough sell.
Shopping done (no canned okra for me, thanks), I headed back home. Near the US Embassy, I had to pull over at let a truckload of CRS agents zoom past me. They were in full riot gear, heading toward the University.
I wisely turned south and took the long way home. I would have liked to know what was going on, but I am under strict instructions from my mom to be careful. Srsly.
I tried to catch some news on the radio- which is possible, but unlikely. However, my radio chose this morning to go haywire.
So, when I got home, I asked my household helpers if they knew anything. They'd been listening to the local radio all morning and they'd heard nothing. Not a word.
But it did seem to be very low key. Maybe there's not much to report. On the other hand, why were the riot police rushing to the scene all hot and bothered?
I'll post again if I find out anything interesting, if I have time. I am sort of in full crisis management mode. For the last three years, Alexa has taken the same two heart medications. I have always bought them at the same pharmacy- one near our house. They have to order them for us, as they aren't that common here. So, every month I buy a box of each and then they order again. It was a good system... until now. When I went in last night to get a new box of Flecaine, they didn't have any. They had forgotten to re-order it! No other place in the whole country has any and it will take 6 days for some to arrive.
Why yes, I am the World's Worst Mother. Thank you for asking.
And yes, I DO feel stupid for not having a reserve box hidden away.
So, I am looking at how to fix this and Al's doctor is also trying to help.
That's my day so far.
I guess being a Published Author hasn't transformed my life into one of ease and glamour.