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The Welcoming Committee

Selling water to go

OUAHIGOUYA ..........Someone I met said this place was as big as Bobo Dioulasso. However, the farther we drove, the more barren and desolate things became. I couldn't imagine another Bobo. I was right.

Ouahigouya was a dry, dusty, town complete with buzzards. I found a ride on the back of a truck that same afternoon and was glad not to have to stay in that dust bowl.

I thought things were desolate before Ouahigouya. It was an absolute wasteland outside of town. The truck detoured off the main road but I wasn't sure why. In the middle of nowhere, not on any sort of road, we had a flat tire. I figured we'd spend the night in one of the villages with igloo huts made of sticks. I stayed in the corner of the truck trying to sleep and not breathe dust.

Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, we by-passed the checkpoint at the Mali border and entered the country illegally. Why? The truck was smuggling goods into the country. Nothing like drugs. No, we had mattresses. I wish I'd been able to use one of them while traveling.

Copyright 1998 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.