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AFRICAN CHRONICLES V.

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At 9:30 and without my endearing morning coffee (because many times it is impossible to get hot water) I took my backpack and started my way, since I had to meet Father Gustav at 10am on his parish. There would also be Ange, the person who would take me to a small village called “Tataman” located on the shore of the Black Volta River. (The Black Volta forms part of the border between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso) As soon as I arrived, I found both of them in the middle of a conversation. We warmly greeted each other and immediately Father Wilfred came to wish “Bon voyage” – as French people say. We were going to travel on a motorbike, which I am not skillful at all; however, the important point here is not to be able to ride a motorbike, but to know the undiscovered ways that lead to remote villages such as the one I went to this day. The road to this village nor the names of the villages we went by appear in any map (not even in the powerful Google Maps). That’s why dear readers, today we’ll have the privilege to meet places and unknown people, whom only very few western people could meet on distant times. The journey to Tataman was really exhausting. It was by far the most difficult trip I’ve done in my entire life. It was a three-hour-motorbike ride through extremely narrow and zigzagging pathways (with occasional vehicle tracks) full of obstacles: huge stones that made us jump about a meter and a half high, destabilizing sandbanks, bushes and trees which scratched our heads and legs, etc. However, the heat (41%) and the striking sun were the really unbearable things. My portion of water had already finished and it was really complicated to obtain water to refresh our body and quench our thirst. Eventually we found a village where there was a kind of pantry. We entered immediately looking for drinks. The good news is that the boy and his family had beverages made of cola and juice. The bad news is that all of them were kept at natural temperature. (i.e. boiling). […]

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