Day 3 – Pavillon Vert to S.I.L. (pronounced “Seal”)

Our next step is to find the correct guesthouse, which we were supposed to be staying in the night before. Since our phone was “finished” we inquired at the front desk about a useable phone, really putting my French skills to the test again. The man in change of customer service told us we could use his phone for a small fee. “Okay.” we said. After trying our 5th phone number (not exaggerating), we finally got through to a cell phone number of a Compassion employee. Just as I have finished the customary greetings in French, “Bonjour. Ca va? Oui, ca va bien. Parlez-vous anglais?” the phone time ran out and the man behind the desk started to laugh. “We will pay the *#$^% bill! Let us continue our conversation!” Lauren yells. At that moment the Compassion man called the payphone back and the desk worker slyly hangs up on him, pretends it was an accident, forcing us to paying him more money to call him back. I am able to reach him once more and tell him our location. In his compassionate nature (no pun intended), he tells he will send someone to pick us up and take us to the guesthouse. At that moment the phone line cuts out again and we refuse to give the desk man any more CFAs, so we set our bags down and wait.

Lauren walks across the street to buy Sangria in a box, which she reports was surprisingly easy considering she has no French skills. We get a few weird looks for drinking in the courtyard at 11:00 in the morning, but we need to calm down as we wait, and people always look at us weird anyway.

While we wait, a man we now refer to as “Googly Bear” (I’ll explain later) approaches us with a pile of photos of white girls on camels, explaining to us he is a guide and offering us his services. We are not interested in his help, and explain this kindly to him, but he shoves his contact information in our hand all the same as Francoise, blessed Francoise, our savior from Compassion, appears to whisk us away.

Francoise, the new visits director for the Burkina Faso Compassion Office, and the one who will take us to visit my sponsor child in a couple of weeks, takes us to the S.I.L Guest House (pronounced “Seal,” silly us) where we are well taken care of by the staff at this International Linguistic Society/Bible Translation/Missionary Family Headquarters compound.  Safe and secure, we recoup for the night without any terrorist attacks or sandstorms.


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