Wherever I have traveled over the years, I have always encountered people that were proud at their country for one or another reason. How different Burkina Faso is!
‘Mali has all the beautiful things (except for the war!). Benin, Togo and Ivory coast have coffee, pineapples, avocados and harbors. We have nothing!’
I look at my guide in surprise.
‘Our president has stolen lots of money from the country over the years, his wife used to transport drugs on diplomatic flights, their son frequently travels to Europe, where he is staying in the most luxurious hotels, and the populations suffers.’
There is no sound of bitterness in his voice, just a lack of understanding. Having taken on charge several orphans, he is quite the opposite. It’s nothing to be proud of in his opinion, it’s just what anyone should do, to make it a better world.
It’s not the first time that I notice the lack of pride. I just haven’t met a Burkinabe yet, who is proud of its country. They marvel about the wonders and ‘wealth’ of their neighbors, overlooking the beauty of their own country.
Listening to the news, including an item on the deployment of Burkinabe troops in Mali, my guide’s face brightens up and with a clear voice he states:
‘They’ll be so happy to go there. They should send them to the most difficult area. They’ll kill every single extremist. A lot of them are orphans, who have been send to the army at a young age. They have no family, nothing to lose. They are the best!’
At l(e)ast he found something to be proud of!
My opinion about the beauty of Burkina Faso being quite different, I happily contribute to making the local people realize that they too have lots to be proud of!