Elliot, Leslie and I were just at Villa Kaya four days ago… Elliot in bathing suit having a sprite, Leslie and I very dusty… we didn’t feel…. no, we were, people kept glancing over at our table… I may even have heard the word chouette describing Elliot! Seriously, a nice place three blocks from our house. The owners deserve lots of credit for trying… young hipster entrepreneurs… Hope they succeed.
We were having cocktails at Villa Kaya, an upscale tapas bar that had, since opening some months before, been adopted as the nightspot du jour for Ouaga’s energetic expat community. The tables were set in a sandy courtyard shaded by towering neem trees. The walls were painted blood red and hung with West African objets d’art. Everything looked stylish, sexy — chouette, cool, in the parlance of the French girls chattering at the table. It was decidedly unlike anything either of us — my companion, a longtime resident, had recently repatriated to Paris — had seen in Ouagadougou before.