Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The final post on Burkina Faso- pools and the Prime Meridian!

Well finally here is the last post about our trip to Burkina Faso. I am sorry it is a few days late, but I was hit with a wonderful little African flu or something and spent 3 days in bed barely moving. It is going around town and numerous friends have it as well. No fear, I am alive and well and back to moving around like normal! So here continues the story....

The Pool

The three days of our time in Burkina Faso were just us, the Marineau family and Kristi, who all took some extra days as vacation to spend in Ouaga. Our second last day we went in search of a pool and found one that was to our liking at a hotel just down the street. In most of the hotels here, you pay an day rate fee to use the pools, usually between $5-$7 per person (little ones are free sometimes too).

What we loved most about this pool was its shallow end! It is sometimes a challenge for us to find a pool our kids will like, since Arielle doesn't know how to swim and Bennett is just barely getting the hang of it. We love lots of shallow! This pool was incredible, in that Bennett could WALK out at least 10-15 feet before it was over his head. Arielle could walk out quite a ways too. Bennett was so happy and especially fond of walking out, climbing onto this little island, and launching himself into the arms of his waiting parent.

bennettpool2web

This hotel pool area made me feel almost like I was at the beach or a resort. So wonderful to relax and enjoy the beautiful pool and trees and not be bothered by people, sold anything, or sweating!

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Arielle spent most of the afternoon "swimming" via other people. Here Elohise, Marianne and Arielle all are beauties in blue and they had a lot of fun swimming around and playing together. Arielle jumped off the island a few times too, but  much preferred to stay in someone's arms. When she got out of the pool she made friends with an old french guy and even shared his water bottle until we noticed she was scamming him. What a charmer!

pool1web

 

The Prime Meridian

During our trip was crossed the Prime Meridian. I didn't really notice until on our way back I was entering the coordinates to see where a geocache we were looking for was and I realized it was in the eastern hemisphere and we were in the western currently. Eureka!!We were crossing the Prime Meridian!!

According to Wikipedia:

The Prime Meridian is the meridian (line of longitude) at which longitude is defined to be 0°.

The Prime Meridian and the opposite 180th meridian (at 180° longitude), which the International Date Line generally follows, form a great circle that divides the Earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.

eastwest

If it is a bit hard to read the display below, it says we are at N 12 degrees 08.919 and West 0 degrees 00.000. Right where the East and West collide. And we thought that us and the Marineaus (Quebecers) could compare East and West, but we were small potatoes!  You can enter those numbers into Google Earth and see where we were!

Of course while we were driving I kept a close eye on my GPS and we stopped and got out at the spot, took some pictures and told the kids what it was about. It was near the Niger border on our way home.

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Bennett and Arielle at the line. It runs through the middle of nowhere and I am quite sure the villagers around here have no clue what this line stands for, or even that it exists at all.

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Paul and I have a picture from our honeymoon back in June 2000 where we are kissing overtop of the Equator in the country of Ecuador. Now we have one of us kissing over the Prime Meridian too!

kissingPMweb 

We were tempted to show this off as the Prime Meridian and say this is the line that is dug here in Africa to mark it, but really this is a channel dug in the ground for hundreds of kilometers from Ouaga to the Niger border for copper line and possibly fibre optics. And we saw crews of men digging it by HAND. My brother Bryan is in fibre optics-can you imagine running all your wire by hand. Wow. I guess what they lack in money and technology they can make up in sheer man power and employing the poor. It was a very impressive and uniformly dug line that we followed all the way to the border of Niger, where it mysteriously stopped. Niger isn't exactly on the same page in terms of development. Below is Joelle (tutor for the Marineaus) modeling the line. And Bennett, such a boy that he is, insisted he had to pee in it.

joelle1web

The Marineau family posing on the Prime Meridian.

MarineausPrimeMeridianwebsized

So after this we hit the Niger border (not literally- we did manage to stop before we hit it) where we crossed back into Niger without any problems. We were stunned by the very quick change in vegetation. Burkina Faso had way more trees, and suddenly Niger was filled with only barren land and low scrub brush. *sigh* Home sweet home!

 

Thank you to all of you who followed our journey and supported the retreat. Although I have no pictures from all the meetings and team times in the conference room, suffice it to say that we studied a lot, prayed a lot together, learned a lot about who we all are as a team and I think we took some good steps forward. Thank you for continuing to lift us up as a team!

 

Love Chantelle

2 comments :

Everyday M.moms said...

Lovely pictures!

Come and Participate on our latest photo challenge,

www.everydaymmoms.blogspot.com

Blessings!

Gatto999 said...

All nice shots !...
Ciao from Italy
:)