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December 9, 2012 / samwilson60

Three months on the road!

We spent the first half of the week continuing our walking tour around various different parts of the Burkina capital, then hiding out at the hotel and capitalising on the more or less reliable wi-fi for the hottest hours of the day, invariably heading out again before dusk to stretch our legs further. It made for a really nice, if really dusty, few days, interspersed with some serious achievements. On Monday we made friends with the Ghanaian embassy staff, then on Tuesday we celebrated our three-month anniversary and located the Nigerians, despite no one else – not even the Nigerian government it seems – knowing where the embassy had gone! On Wednesday we picked up our Ghanaian visas (result!) and got our Nigerian applications pretty much ready to hand in at 10am on Thursday.

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By Thursday, we’d had enough of life in the city and desperately wanted to go wild. We were ready and waiting at the Nigerian embassy at 9.45 and by 10 had been joined by an alarming number of fellow applicants, including a German woman based in Ouaga for an internship. With her shiny new ten-year Burkina residency permit and flights in and out of Nigeria for Christmas, she made us look like pretty shoddy applicants. Once again, the official line was that visas were issued only to residents, but once again they let us give it a go anyway. This involved waiting almost two hours after handing in our forms and accompanying documents, with no indication of what would happen next or when. Around midday we and our new German friend were summoned to the room to which all the Africans had already been herded. Again, we waited but by now it was clear we were to be interviewed. Thankfully they took us as a pair and were fairly amenable, but they didn’t half make us squirm with their questions (one guy doing all the talking, the other all the listening, it seemed). Even after all that, we were told we would have to wait until the following Tuesday to find out if our application had been approved or not. The only glimmer of hope was the smile on their faces when they saw how much we, as Brits, would have to pay if we were successful.

Trying hard not to dwell on the ifs and maybes, and only more desperate to escape the dust and the city, we used the rest of the day to get as far into the wilderness as possible, bearing in mind the need to return to Ouaga in five days’ time (and the amount of diesel we could use up in the meantime).

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