Day 10 – Retrieval of the Passports – “Yep, we’re American.”

We slept in, ate more mangoes, and joined the line of eccentric foreigners also waiting to pick up their visa extensions at the warehouse (I mean, government office) in the afternoon. Lauren comments under her breath, “Well, at least we don’t look as crazy as these guys,” referring to the Europeans with incredibly long dreadlocks down their backs. I inform her that we’re probably just as crazy looking, for the fact that we are by far the youngest people in line. One thing we have definitely realized while traveling Burkina: we are practically babies. Twenty and twenty-one years old and traipsing about one of the poorest counties in the world? By ourselves? Without a guide? And we don’t speak the language? Yes, we are just as crazy, probably more so. At least the dreadlockers speak French.

They bring out a cardboard box full of passports and distribute them. Then everyone gets in line and starts signing their information in a book to record that they got their visa extensions, but when Lauren and I get to the front of the line, the woman looks at our passports, says, “Oh, you’re American!” and tells us we can go on our way. Thank you, America, for allowing us to skip the paperwork.


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