The Spectre of Famine

burkinabe lutte

An image copied off somebody else’s WordPress – search for “Burkina Faso”. Is that “Do  You Hear The People Sing?” that I hear in the background? Hmm.  As long as the “lutte” doesn’t become more violent and divisive than it already is.

Eating “pain perdu” for breakfast today – that’s what French people call what we call “French Toast”. That’s because it is what they do with bread when it gets kind of stale and mouldy. For us, it is a treat but today I am eating it because my bread got stale and mouldy. There were no deliveries of bread to my neighborhood yesterday.

The staple starch here is rice, of course, and there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of that – except in my house, where Mme Bousso, who has a Senegalese restaurant and cooks for me, has not been able to come since Wednesday. Her neighborhood has seen a lot more unpleasantness than mine has, being closer to the military camp and the presidential palace. But for the French-influenced society of the city, a shortage of bread is a big deal. All the little street-side “alimentations generales” proprietors were quite distressed.

In political news, the visiting presidents announced that president Michel Kafondo, the transitional leader who was arrested several days ago, will resume power as the head of the transition, though there was some vagueness about exactly how and when this was going to happen. All-night meetings are apparently still under way with General Diendéré and an announcement is promised for today. Also the military commander who made the somewhat cryptic statement about “republican values” was apparently the overall commander of the armed forces, an important guy to be distancing himself from the military.

The barricade out front got bigger during the night. The young men were all sitting round drinking tea and talking politics when I looked out at 9:30 or so. No sign of troops anywhere all night and no shooting.


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