My little brother is in Burkina Faso right now doing some science (we siegfrieds are all field scientists apparently). He’s been there for a week. I asked him the above question. Here’s his response:
also: today we were driving back to ouagadougou from the field sites and I fell asleep in the car and i woke up when we stopped at the side of the road. I guess i looked concerned (justifiably – yesterday we got a flat tire in pretty much the exact same situation, but luckily two 8 year old boys patched it for 1000 francs, or $2), and my friend Ali (who speaks very little english, but more than the driver, Matthew) turns to me and says “The driver wants to get a chicken. i go to watch”. so i got out the car and tried to get my bearings and figure out what was going on, and literally not 5 seconds later i turn around and matthew has a live chicken in his hand and he’s already trying to buy some peanuts from a different lady. so i bought a sachet of water (water comes in what look like iv bags, which you bite open and suck down), matthew shoved the chicken under the driver’s seat and off we went.
That’s pretty indicative of how africa is.
If you saw an idiot in Union Square laughing at his phone just now, that’s why.