I’ve been craving for chips for over three months now. I don’t usually eat chips when I’m on site because it’s rarely available. During my home leave in the Philippines, I didn’t get the chance to eat crisps too because I traveled a lot.
So this afternoon, I went to the restaurant to inform the caretaker of the house that I don’t have electricity. This is the second time this week and it’s bullsh*t. I remembered that my soap is almost finished and I need to buy a new one. So I went to the bar and asked for a bar of soap and moisturizer and luckily they restocked their chips. They have Pringles and French potato chips in a bag. I picked up a couple of Pringles and a bag of chips in a heartbeat.
The total cost is 10400 FCFA or almost 850 PHP (18 USD). In Filipino standards, that’s a huge amount already but here in Burkina Faso, it’s normal. That’s almost my weekly allowance when I was studying in the university. I could have thrown a drinking session with my barkada and go home pretty wasted. I could have treated my family to a Sunday lunch at the nearest Jollibee. But no. The commodities here are twice or sometimes thrice or even four times the price of the goods in the Philippines.
But I’m pretty happy with my spending. I don’t normally spend here on site because everything is free. They even give us a bar of organic soap made with karité (shea) but I don’t like the smell so I bring / buy my own soap.
What I normally do to satisfy my cravings on chips is that I buy a bunch of peanuts from the village as a snack during my movie marathons. The only available snackable food from the village that doesn’t get spoiled immediately. So I buy a thousand FCFA (80 PHP or 1.72 USD) worth of peanuts and it last me a week.
I gave up a lot of things when I signed my 2-year contract here in Burkina Faso but it’s all worth it. I know, we don’t have chips here, chocolate, McDonald’s er all the good things in life but it’s for my future. I need to sacrifice a little and enjoy the outcome later. That’s the harsh reality.