Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Easy Borders

Hey, if you have been conditioned to believe that every border crossing is difficult and unpleasant, that you must be prepared to lubricate the hands that open the gates into the new country with some "dash," if you have ever felt your heart sink at the prospect of dealing with the various officials who seem to enjoy torturing the African traveler, then, my dear friend, journey to the border of Ghana and Burkina Faso for a little corrective reconditioning.

Come to Paga and Dakola, don't speak French, expect to be put into the line for cretins and morons, look suspiciously at the officials! Then, realize that they are smiling at you, they are being courteous. The Ghanaians are helping you fill forms, they are having extended conversations with you about the brotherly rivalry between Nigeria and Ghana.
The dream gets better: the officials on the Burkina side are outdoing the Ghanaians in courtesy, in politeness and helpfulness.

I pinch myself. Should I be even more suspicious? Is this a trap, am I being set up?
No, it's all real. I can celebrate this. This is the Africa I came looking for. I can go home happy now. I knew it was out there.

But it really begs the question of why it's so different at the Seme-Cotonou, Hillacondji & Aflao borders. My wild guess? Corruption o! Corruption, the pit latrine of human commerce. Let's be as one to make all of Africa worthy of celebrating. It doesn't have to be this way!

8 comments:

Field Marshal said...

Chioma, your writing is as lovely as you’ll always be. This is a journey to behold! This is absolutely beautifully written!! I hunger to read more from you. I can imagine the twinkle in your eyes as you experienced those golden moments you wrote about.

NigerianDramaQueen said...

Im glad Standtall recommended your blog because Im thinking odf travelling around West Africa next summer as a graduation gift to my self. So I will definately be here to see your perspective on stuff. You should put up pictures when you get the chance!

Chioma said...

My darling FM, thank you very plenty.


Hi Nigeriandramaqueen, thanks for posting. You really should do the trip, you'd love it. I'm posting pictures on my website; www.celebrateafrica.net.
Check it out.

Habeeb said...

Chioma, this your blog is nice o. I see u are learning fast.

Grahamn Kracker said...

Now I am all caught up. Can't wait to see where you lead me next. I have left a trail of comments for you to back up and read.

NigerianDramaQueen said...

Just went to the website
Your like my role model now

Adorable said...

Great thing to do. Thanks for giving the world a chance to see Africa from a new perspective. Let's smile for a change. I'll definitely follow you round Africa.

U ROCK!

Anonymous said...

That sounds even friendlier than the U.S.-Canada crossing! :)