Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Homeless in Ouaga Pt 12

What do you mean it’s time to leave? I was just learning to swear in French and not like a Frenchman: Va te faire foute, connard! Ok that’s enough or I’ll be banned in yet another language.


It’s hard to tell what day it is, they all blend together. Everyone is constantly asking the day and date. One of the Canadian filmmakers had marked his guide with all the movies he wanted to see, only to find out he was a day early—back to the drawing/scheduling board.

It’s soooo hot 102-105 degrees and there’s very little shade. We are land locked on the edge of the Sahara Desert.

FESPACO has concluded and everyone is preparing to leave. Michael and Calvin left before the close and I’m also gathering my things to leave. The hotel has me sign some form for FESPACO and have me pay for incidentals. I have a car arranged to take me to the airport and I do some last minute shopping on the back of a motor scooter. It’s fun. I go by J-F’s to use his computer to skype Paris only to find out my flight isn’t until, what? Oh no! Tomorrow. But I’ve packed and checked out! We call the Relax ‘Don’t Do It’ Hotel and they say I was only booked through today. But FESPACO booked both the hotel and airline ticket. OMG, I‘m homeless. I see myself wander the streets of Ouaga all night with my luggage, maybe I could sell phone cards. That’s a popular free lance job here.

No one else is very concerned or think this is a big problem. (Of course not, they have a place to sleep) Someone suggest we go eat and party cause after all, hey hey, you’ve got another day with us in Ouaga. Are these people crazy?

Jean-Francois tells me not to worry that I can sleep in his room, he has two beds. Voila, problem solved—let’s go eat! Not only do i have a place to stay but it also fulfills my other wish: I’m staying at the HOTEL INDEPENDENCE! Yeah! I’m strutting around now like I own the place. I do, I have a key!

JoAnna wants to treat us all to dinner at an Italian restaurant where we will meet a couple of her friends. The restaurant was surreal, like a scene out of a movie. Sitting in the heart of Africa in an outdoor Italian garden. The 8 of us were having a great time. Suddenly one of the filmmakers from Chad spots this gorgeous woman sitting at a table alone. She didn’t look like a person having dinner alone. She had a joy about her like she was anticipating something wonderful. He leaves us to join her at her table and they get into a very animated discussion. We are having so much fun at our table that we forget about them. Finally he comes back and everyone starts drilling him. He gives up bits of info and promises to write a full report. There’s a phrase in Burkina when asking about a woman they say, “She’s a good actress.”

Still sitting alone at her table we all beckon her over to join us. She’s very delightful and beautiful. All the guys eyes have glazed over as she talks so passionately. She’s a doctor from Senegal working on HIV. She’s a good actress.

Doctor Good Actress tells us that in 15 minutes she’s going to the ballet around the corner and it only costs 500 cfa’s, which is about $1. It goes to help women who would otherwise have to work the streets to eat and the director is a friend of hers. So now we’re all going to the ballet. How’d she do that? Damn she’s a GREAT actress!

video

The ballet was outdoors (of course) and it was packed and eventually they had to turn people away. These folks love their culture. (I thought about some of our dance troupes like Muntu Dancers, and how they struggle. Wouldn’t they love the average neighborhood people to flood their events.) The dancers were great fun, the orchestra was also magnificent, half of them drummers. It was fun and everyone enjoyed it, but where was J-F and Dr. Beautiful?

Oh no, now where will I sleep? I clutch my Hotel Independence key, and I was so close. Joanna says I could stay with her. Ok. (but she’s not at the Independence:-(

As we’re leaving J-F and Doctor Love show up and he’s adamant about me staying with him. Seems the good doctor was very interested in him but he has a girlfriend that he loves and didn’t want to mess this up.


I don’t understand. What language is he speaking now? Oh, he’s serious, so I tell him that he is a noble guy and spend half the night telling him he did the right thing. (I guess) He should have no regrets and anyway he still has another night in Ouaga if he wants to change his mind. I’m sure he won’t. I go to bed humming, she’s a Maneater


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