I’m 4 days into being in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and in a state of confusion and disappointment. Not so much because of what I see around me, but because of what is going on inside me. I feel uncomfortable and I’m not sure it’s the right decision to be here for 3 months.
First trip to Burkina
Niek lived in Burkina Faso 5 years ago and I had come to visit for about 10 days. We’d spent a couple of days in Ouagadougou, catching up, horse riding and buying malaria pills; as my luggage had found its way to Abidjan, rather than to me.
After being reunited with my clothes we set off on an adventure around Boromo, Oury and Parade. Getting bum ache from the motorbike, drinking dolo with everyone, and being looked after so well. It was wonderful. I left Burkina Faso totally understanding why Niek had fallen in love with the place.
Back in Burkina
But now rather than being ecstatic about being back somewhere I’d loved, I am regularly having the feeling that I am somewhere I shouldn’t be. Why? What’s changed?
I’ve tried to convince myself it’s the malaria pills, the heat, the fact I have just said bye to my sister and her growing baby bump, anything really. But the feelings persist, and I know it isn’t just those things making me feel on edge. In truth I am finding it all tougher than I expected, and along with this realisation comes a great deal of self-judgement and disappointment.
Last time I’d arrived Niek already had it sorted, it was easy peasy for me. He had the base – a house, a scooter and friends that would put us up in the villages we visited. Now we have to do it all from scratch, and I guess I’ve underestimated how much time, effort and calling people it takes. But it should be fine, right? We are in no rush. We’re here for 3 months for exactly that reason.
So knowing this, why do I still experience a sinking, hopeless feeling whenever afternoon turns to evening? I start to have a sense of mild internal panic, what am I going to do this evening? How am I going to make the time pass until tomorrow? And it’s slowly dawning on me that I am wishing away my time in Burkina.
Right, a decision has been made. It is time to take this conversation out of my head and have it with Niek. I am determined to be here, I know the amazing opportunities ahead of us. But I won’t be able to enjoy any of them if I kept counting down to our departure date.
I’ll be back in a few days, hopefully with some idea about what’s going on in my head.