Also, I can't find a period! Prepare for a lot of exclamation marks!
I am quite happy to have received your emails, sometimes you get a bit lax about responding, so I always wonder! I am in Ouagadougou! Remember how we thought Tamale was hot? Child's play! I love that you read about the camel ride as being pulverising to the behind! Mostly, the wooden seat was pulverising for my thighs!
I don't know if words can explain how annoying this keyboard is!
So, yes, though rumors abounded about the unrest in the Sahel due to the Tuareg unrest/rebellion in Mali. Wait, look at that, I just found the period! Anyhow, though deserted (the local kids said that the last white folks they saw were a couple weeks ago in a place the internet refers to as "The town has modernized a lot and is getting timbuktu-ified with tourists. The guides are pests.") the only unsafe feeling I had was from my guide and his attempts to constantly touch me. Actually, that's a lie. I was conpletely terrified on the bus ride North, though, let it be clear that it was only in my head and there was nothing on the trip to elicit my fears. The ride was nice, a bit boring really, as we were just trekking through desert, there wasn't much to see. As I rode the camel (boy was he irritable!) the guide walked (boy was he irritating!) and the camel boy (who was lovely, but had an utterly unprounouncable name) rode on the back of the camel. We slept on mats on top of a dune. The second day we went on to a further little mango grove, then back to Gorom. The guide ditched me and camel boy, but I was grateful. Also, camel boy spoke only limited French so it was nice and quiet. I spent the night in, from what my guide and I could find, the only operational lodging in Gorom. It was like a prison cell, except they didn't even make any attempt to remove the cockroach carcasses, and MY GOD hot. What I learned in Gorom is that sometimes a breeze isn't a nice thing. Sometimes it's like you're sitting in a sauna (without the luxury of being able to strip down to your skivvies) and a BLAZE OF FIRE comes rushing at you. Ooof. Definitely the hottest place I've ever been.
A good learning experience though, I saw Tuaregs. They look just like Arabs. Are they (historically, that is)? They don't ride camels, really. They ride motorbikes like everyone else, or take the bus, you know? Normal stuff. I met fulani (my guide) people and Bella (camel boy) as well. The Tuaregs and Fulani used to hold the Bellas as slaves. Though it's now illegal, the Bellas are still in the lowest class and considerably less wealthy. It's like the US in that way - the light skinned people use and abuse the dark skinned people and still now the repercussions of the subjugation are felt.
So, yes, now I am in Ouaga, have been fending off consistent and annoying shouts of "La Blanche!!!!!!!!!!!" all day. It's exhausting. I could never live here.
I miss Ghana. The people there are more well behaved (people here smoke and drink!) and love white people more (here people are less in love with white people, they "tolerate" white people). Plus, French is so difficult and I am completely inept.
Tomorrow I fly back, via Air Burkina. Then I plan to go to Cape Coast to see the Forts and do some surfing. Oop, time is up!
You never told me why you spell Maya incorrectly. Will you do that when I have children?
I love you so much!