So I’ve had a good time so far, studied French like a maniac, just to reach the level of “Le cheval court”. Anyways, I am making progress, but to follow the local accent is a bit much still 😉
After four days I was finally able to find my own way home by public transport. It was scary at first, but I managed well (*pats himself on the back*). So in the morning I am usually brought to school by mama, Madame Aka, of the homestay family. From next week on that won’t work though, as I have to leave early and traffic is wacky in this town.
So first I have to take the woro-woro. That’s a taxi-car, but they circle on fixed routes. You will constantly hear the honking, and the drivers put out their hands indicating how many passengers they can take. Before you enter, you ask if it goes to your desired destination and you suggest a price. At peak times, the woro-woros are packed. Their colour varies depending on the district.
Same goes for the Bakás, mini-busses, which also frequent on fixed routes, and hold up to 18 passengers. What surprised me here, in contrast to Ghana, they are really strict with the seats. In Ghana there was no such thing as “Sorry, we are full”, but capacity depends on demand. Each of the Bakás has an “Apprentice”, usually a young boy who is there to fill up the Baká and sort out the money. They do the kissing sound with their lips to get your attention, and, as on a market, loudly advertise their destination. Most of the times they are just hanging by the sliding door of the Baká, and acrobatically jumping in and out to get customers. Cars passing them by at high speed, missing their heads by centimetres sometimes…
Supposedly they split the money with the driver in the end of the day, but often they don’t receive their share. They live from the hand to the mouth. And as a whiteyboy, you will get ripped off at times, unless you keep staring at them, telling with your eyes “I know the real price, mon frére!”
Today we almost got crashed by a Baká driver who had lost control over the vehicle. Our car got away with a few scratches, some pedestrians just saved themselves by leaping into the bushes. That happened at the Carrefour “la vie”, which is called this way because so many people died there already. Mon Dieu…
And then of course there are the taxis, which I was adviced not to use, as they are overpriced.
My total costs for travelling each day are round 1000 CFA Francs (it’s a Currency-Union in Westafrica). That is 1.50 €. The income of some friends I’ve met here is between 50.000 and 100.000 per month, which means already almost a third of their money will go into transport to their job.
There are also bigger Busses round, but I haven’t discovered their routes yet.
Meanwhile, preparations for the beginning of the year are going well, parents are coming in and out all the time. My Maths colleague Oatta and I have been preparing this library/IT-room. There is still a problem with water leaking into the place, we hope it can get fixed soon. This room will also be used for 1on1 tutoring.
So, school starts on Monday! Am I prepared enough? noooo… but am I ready? YES! I’ll keep you posted. And if you have any questions, just post them wherever or message me!
Have a good weekend!