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Great tyro 2020-05-25 4:00

Hello Gert,

This is a most delightful photograph of what looks to me to be a thoroughly pleasant place where I am sure I should feel very comfortable to visit. Sadly, I suspect that nowadays I might not feel so comfortable nor so safe as when you took this photo 38 years ago.

This street is clean, no piles of discarded rubbish are in sight, these two ladies are very smartly groomed and elegantly dressed and even the small motorcycles appear clean and almost as new. It all gives a sense of an atmosphere of general wellbeing, contentment and happiness where people and visitors can live safely and have all the necessities required for a simple life despite not being at all rich. But I can imagine that this same street today might not present such a happy picture.

And photographically I think this is a superb shot - it's clear and sharp and the colours are excellent - and I'm sure it appears just as you remember it when you saw it. A perfect scan from a perfect original Kodachrome slide!

Your workshop photo might not be quite in the same class as your main one but it does give us a view of the sort of houses which people here occupied. I presume that this lady's house was built of mud. It certainly looks quite substantial and, again, appears well cared for and not surrounded by piles of detritus.


Kind Regards,


P.S. And I'm afraid this one just has to go into my favourites too! :)

Old 05-25-2020, 11:30 AM
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holmertz holmertz is offline
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Default To tyro: safety

Thank you John for showing such an interest in this photo, and of course for adding it to your favourites.

In 1982 all of Burkina Faso (then Upper Volta) was remarkably safe and people were generally very kind and friendly. I don't think people have changed much since then, but the country has been sadly affected by terrorism in recent years. Mainly it has been areas along the border with Mali that have been hit, but also the capital Ouagadougou has been the scene of a number of deadly attacks. Bobo-Dioulasso is in the southwestern corner of the country, as far from Mali as possible, and I haven't heard of any attacks or unrest there, so it should be safe.

2-3 years ago the Africa correspondent for the Swedish national public radio made a special report to summarize his three years on the continent, before returning home. He mentioned a few experiences that he would keep as cherished memories, and among them was the extraordinary kindness of most people in Burkina Faso. It made me so happy that I sent him a mail to tell him of my experiences so many years earlier.

Mali in 1982 remains among my cherished memories for the same reason, but unfortunately that country is today strictly out of bounds because of terrorism. I believe that ordinary people are still just as nice as 38 years ago.

Kind regards,

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