Jody and Sarah Fox - this phase of our Journey as IMB missionaries in Niger, West Africa

Monday, February 25, 2013

Vacation in Burkina

Written by: Jody
One thing that can make living here difficult is the lack of things to do with your children.  Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world and for that reason, even Niamey, the capital city, has a lack of things to do for and with your children.   So just this past week we took a vacation to Burkina Faso, the country to the west of Niger.

After a seven hour car trip we arrived in the capital city of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou.  To be fair Ouagadougou is not much better off than Niamey, but hey we were out of Niger and on vacation and were determined to make the best of it. 

On the first day of arriving we located the go-carts.  Yes Ouagadougou has go-carts and boy did we have a fun time.  We went with some friends of ours that were in the country for a softball tournament over the weekend, one I was playing in as well.  One thing you learn about Africa is that there is not a constant fear of getting sued so the safety pre-cautions are very limited – which can be good and bad.  When we were at Victoria Falls in Zambia the lack of safety pre-cautions was a bad thing.  There were lots of open cliffs and a very slippery bridge, which we fell on.  However, the lack of safety pre-cautions on go-carts makes for a very fun ride.

Camryn in the driver's seat!  Don't worry she didn't really drive on her own...

Let me explain… First, in America they often put a safety switch on the accelerator to keep the go-carts from going too fast.  No such thing in Africa, these go-carts flew.  Second, any bumping or rough riding that would get you thrown out in America, is totally allowed, nobody really cares.  On our first ride our children rode with us so we took an easy, relaxed ride –  no horse playing for the kid’s safety.  But on the second ride, Jody threw caution to the wind and had a race with some of the teenagers from the school in Niamey.  This was probably some of the most fun I have ever had on go-carts.

A couple of days later we got to take our kids bowling.  Ouagadougou has a bowling alley.  The kids had never been bowling before, and we had the whole 4 lane alley to ourselves.  They had a blast, however again safety seems to not be a priority in Africa, since we all bowled barefoot.  This is not recommended and we were afraid we may end up with some smashed toes, but we all made it out unharmed. 

Finally we found an indoor play place in one of the grocery stores.  The girls had fun in the ball pits, on the small zip line, and just running through the mazes.  These seem to be all over the place in America, but for us it was a big treat. 
Lauren having fun!

Although, there was not much else to do, we went swimming a lot, ate out every night, Sarah loved not cooking, and ate some great ice cream treats that we cannot get in Niger. Finally on the last morning we were able to take the kids to a small amusement park.   By small I mean they had bumper cars, merry-go-around, and a few other small rides.  We spent about an hour there  -- that’s how small it was, but the girls had a lot of fun.

Camryn on merry-go-round

Jody and Jordan on the bumper cars

The girls and a hippo

And after a seven hour drive back to Niamey, Niger we picked up a new pet from some other missionaries who are leaving to go on stateside in May.  So let me introduce you to our new tortoise.  Sarah has wanted a goat, but Jody has put his foot down on that request, but he has agreed to this tortoise.  Camryn wants to name her Mary, Jordan wants to name her Sport, and I want to name her Hingle McCringleberry so we seem to be at an impasse when it comes to names, but either way, tortoise’s don’t seem to care about names.

Lauren and the new pet

Please continue to keep us in your prayers.          

1 comment:

  1. The vacation sounds like a lot of fun, especially the go carts. So glad you were all able to get away and have a refreshing change of pace, and survived just fine without all the crazy (but safe) restrictions US law demands.

    How neat to be able to introduce your girls to some of the things they would have more available in the USA. I love the tortoise. Are you going to teach him/her to fetch and roll over? LOL.