The Biggest Tease in Africa

My colleague has been in Ouaga this week, so I haven’t spent much time at the office. Instead I chose to meet borrowers around town and work on a few documents at home. But I wanted to make sure I stopped by the office this afternoon to see how my other officemates were doing and to invite everyone to chez-moi for an American meal this weekend.

I casually pulled up, unstrapped my bag from the back of my bike, and started walking towards the front door. But then, I realized something was amiss. Why is the door closed, I wondered?

I immediately began to look around for other signs of change. Finally, my eyes rested on the greatest site I’ve seen in my time in Africa – air conditioning units were attached to the outside of the office! No wonder the door was closed, we can’t have the wonderful cool air seeping out now can we? Five months after being promised that air conditioning was on the way, it was finally here. I immediately chastised myself for not coming into the office sooner and started making plans of how to convince everyone of  my need to work late tonight, just so I could enjoy that cool air for a bit longer.

I opened the door, but instead of being hit with a blast of cold air, I was hit with a dose of reality. The supposed air conditioning units barely made any impact, and if anything, the new “closed door/don’t let out the cold air” policy had only made things worse by not letting any breeze make its way inside. At 3pm the thermostat rose steadily from 35 to 39C (95 to 102F) before eventually registering the current temperature as “ER”, the error code.

Thankfully, my massive sweating ability turned out to be a positive attribute for once, as it showed everyone that in fact these air conditioning units were obviously not working. Supposedly we’ll be getting them fixed. I sure hope it’s not another five month wait.



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