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The area north of Côte d’Ivoire and east of Mali has been settled for thousands of years. The Mossi, who were masters of the horse, established their kingdom in Wagadogo in the 15th century. Their kingdom was powerful and prosperous for hundreds of years until the era of colonialism.
After considerable competition involving battles and treaties with the English, the French eventually gained control of the region, defeating the Mossi and occupying Wagadogo in 1896.
Today, the city is comprised of seventeen villages, has a population of 1.5 million, and is one of the poorest and most polluted cities in the world. As the population grows and resources dwindle, access to clean water becomes increasingly difficult. Wells are polluted and scattered about the countryside. Potable water sellers cart rusty barrels along the unpaved city streets. Their water is expensive, hot, and unclean.
Eighty percent of childhood diarrhea in the area can be traced to polluted water. One in five children doesn’t live past the age of five. International aid organizations have combined to work toward the goal of bringing clean water to 80% of the population by the year 2015.
Follow the Hop here. If you hopped here, follow the link below for your free copy of:
Facing the Son, A Novel of Africa
Go to Smashwords and use this code: HV52K.
Review by: Cindy Rinaldi on July 29, 2011 :
In 1979, when American Matt Reiser lands in Africa to search for his son, he quickly finds himself beaten and robbed of everything from his passport to his shoes. Haunted by regrets, Matt is on a quest for redemption and the robbery triggers a chain of events that takes Matt on a dangerous journey across international boundaries without a valid passport. A dubious hotel concierge and his street-smart niece seem to want to help Matt, but their lives collide in a pivotal moment that sends Matt running from thugs and government officials through urban and rural Africa in a life-changing adventure. Surprising twists hurl strong characters through colorful sights, smells and sounds of a time gone by. “Facing the Son” delivers a great roller coaster ride that is a testament to a father’s love for his son and his son’s mother in a story that is compelling, heartwarming and bittersweet.
West Africa before cell phones…
Africa has always seemed a long way away to me, and a little intimidating for that reason. One sees news of the violence, corruption and dire poverty there. Facing the Son, which takes place in the late 1970s, does not gloss over these aspects of the continent, but the novel is also a heart-warming, positive story about an American father’s attempt to reconnect with a son who has chosen to distance himself from his family by moving there. The pace is quick and the plot keeps turning as frequently as the back roads traveled. Liked it so much, I read it twice!
What a great book. From the outset the reader is put in suspense with what has got to be any travelers worst nightmare – and then in a country as foreign as one can imagine. This book has a lot to offer including understanding the challenging conditions in Africa, a traveler put completely outside his comfort zone, and a father’s struggle with his broken relationship with his son. The story continues throughout to take new unexpected turns and one quickly gets to a point where you cannot put it down until completed.