It was the year 1.991 and also the first time I was traveling to Burkina Faso. We went to Bobo Dioulasso, the second capital of the country. We were there for a few days, at the Hotel Auberge, run by a couple of Lebanese, when they were still lodging in a room in the garden. There was nothing else. A few days later we went to Senufo country, later to Lobi country and finally to Mali. We had no plans to go, we did not have visas. At the border we give away a bottle of cologne, a shirt and some other gift, surely unnecessary.
Shortly before reaching the border, we stopped to eat. Something similar to a kitchen, in the middle of nowhere, where we could find bread and grilled meat. In the distance, a group of children watched us. When we got up to leave, they rushed to the place where we were and began to nibble the bones that we had left on the plates.
We were face to face with the brutality of Hunger. It was the month of August, the period called “de soudure”: when the harvest of the previous summer that should feed them until the next harvest was not enough and the granaries were empty. At that time we were completely unaware of the situation. We bought them something. Surely, little.

I will never forget this.


Montse Vallmitjana

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