Peace Corps Gets 1 Country in NYTIMES Annual List of Cherish Places

Note from the editor: At this time of year, The New York Times’ Travel desk usually publishes its lavish 52 Places to Go list, a compendium of suggestions for the destinations that are especially worth visiting in the coming year, accompanied by show-stopping photography.

But this year, that was out of the question. Instead of its traditional list of destinations, the Travel desk asked readers about locales with special meaning to them.

This is what Teresa Gotlin-Sheehan (Burkina Faso 2012-14) had to say.

 

Niansogoni, Burkina Faso

 

Burkina Faso is a West African country of desert and baobab trees, where more than 60 languages are spoken.

I had heard rumors of an abandoned cliff village, like Mesa Verde in the United States, not far from my host community.

When a friend came to visit, we set off on a three-day bike tour to visit and view the Niansogoni Cliffs and the Sindou Peaks. While Niansogoni was only around 20 miles away, the road was rough, and, it was the middle of the hot season, we arrived dusty and dehydrated. After a change of clothes and a surprisingly cold Brakina beer, our guide led us on a hike up the cliffs.

We viewed this abandoned troglodyte village of the Wara people, who in the 14th century fled into the hills to escape the neighboring Senufo tribes. Up top, in the quiet among the baobab trees, at the ends of the earth.

Teresa Gotlin-Sheehan is a high school social studies teacher in Denver. She joined the Peace Corps and lived in Burkina Faso from 2012 to 2014.

 

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