Baby Jesus, a Present and Bobo-Dioulasso

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December 24th

Christmas eve is for church and late night dinner. I’ve got the flue and the mass is three hours long, at least, so after finnishing the cooking me and Sarah stay home watching Fresh Prince of Bell Air on a laptop until 23:00 – then we head towards Serge’s family’s house and engage in an experiment with a very strong gas-flame and two inexperienced brown-potato makers. Miraculously nobody was hurt (except the potatoes). The family is home by midnight for champagne, frikadeller and fried plantains, we’re in bed by 3am  zZZZz….

  

December 25th

– is for visiting family and friends, so we get up after way too few hours of sleep and stay most of the day in Serge’s family’s house while people come and greet. I drink ginger juice, bisap and Fanta until a sweet, sugary fog swirls around inside my head along with confused fragments of conversations in french. At the end of the day there is still one family left to visit, I arrange another meal inside me the same way you arrange your bag when going home from a place you’ve lived for a year – with effort, care and a little bit of nostalgic brutality.

The day is over. A sweet hand leads me outside, the sky a star dotted ocean. Innocent black waters cool my eyes, as wonderfully salty tides crash… bliss…

December 28th

We go to Bobo to spend New Years and unwind…

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January 1st

The train from Bobo back to Ouaga is a mellow metal cow making her way through stretches of green leafy trees on red sand, we rock back and forth inside her belly in the rhythm of her steps. An unexpected love is sleeping on my shoulder. My mouth tastes gloriously of sardines. Small pieces of ash from burning vegetation flies in the window and sticks to my skin and my shirt, I brush it off and create a wonderful black smudge. The water in my bottle is actually warmer than my body, time stretches out its body in lazy pleasure.

January 2nd

We are on our way out for dinner, I am leaving tonight and I’m NOT ready.

– You know when a prisoner has been sentenced to death and have to walk down the hall to take their last meal?

I receive laughter and a hug from the side. Ça va aller! I comfort myself thinking that all the people telling me that I will come back are right – I will be back soon again! I’m aware that in fact I have no idea when or if I’ll be able to go back, but I just don’t feel separated, the embrace of Burkina is a gravitating force drawing me down under an always starry dome filled with sweetness.

I kiss Burkina and my darlings goodnight and au revoir with tears streaming down my face… I will be back, Inshallah!

Burkina dans mon cœur, mon cœur au Burkina ❤

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