Reub's journey

06 September 2009

Going to Badigishiri

While we were staying with Jessica in Foloa, we wanted to throw a party. We had already been treated to two somewhat impromptu celebrations held at night in the dusty lane outside her little compound. The first one was put on by the young girls, who danced and sang; two days later the young men danced to their favorite songs blaring from a cassette player. It was fun, and drew crowds both nights. So the expectations ran high for our party, and we didn't want to disappoint.

Our party planner was none other than Narba, Jessica's 70-year-old neighbor and head woman of the village. The party, to be held Friday, required a trip to Badigishiri, a good-sized market town about an hour's drive away via the weekly market car/bush taxi. No description of the party could go without first showing you that trip.

All photos taken by John Bliss.

Here is the vehicle. The road wasn't great, and at one point we were stuck up to the axle; but luckily there were 20 or 30 passengers to help push it out. No problem. We had six more breakdowns, and the driver quickly fixed them all.

The market was a feast for the senses.

Narba, in the pink dress, watched carefully as the shopkeeper made his big sale. We bought rice for 200 people. He sold it by the bowlful, never weighing anything.

Peanut resin for sale here.

We bought dried tomatoes, garlic, and other assorted dried foods to be used in sauce for the rice.

Jessica and Narba did the bargaining.

Meanwhile we soaked up the sights all around.

I loved the brightly colored mats that were for sale. Can you tell how intensely the sun was shining?

Batiks from the Ivory Coast were beautiful.

We weren't the only ones soaking up the sights.

There was even a snake charmer.

The animal market was huge, filled with horses, goats, sheep, and camels for sale. That's a cell tower in the background.

We left it to Jessica's friend Ayuba to buy a sheep and transport it via bush taxi back to Foloa. Here he is, fed and resting after what must have been a stressful day. I was glad to see him treated well on his last night.


  1. Very interesting. I know the sheep is food, but I really cringed hearing the last part of your story. The older I get the more sensitive I am to animals. The market looked like an interesting place.

  2. I know, JarieLyn, I know. I almost didn't include the sheep for that reason, but thought he deserved better. Some recognition. I may write a separate post about my conflicted feelings.

  3. I can so understand why progress in other areas of life moves so slowly in these countries, when just getting food together for a party requires so much effort and time. I have a small collection of batiks from Indonesia and would have been tempted to buy a small armful of those you photographed. What a wonderful and exotic trip.

  4. I did come home with an armload of batiks! They sell them in 2 or 4 meter lengths. So what I have is a lot of tablecloths! Or skirts, pagnes, wraps, sarongs. The trip was exotic and intense.

  5. Hi Mom!

    I was so glad that our trip to Badagishiri turned out so well- sometimes those crowds on a hot day are a little much. But we really managed to "ci kasuwa"- "eat the market".

    One little correction- the black nuggets are some kind of dried vegetable matter, not peanut resin.


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