by Jonathan Coleman, Pensa, Burkina Faso
You can walk around the barrage on foot (about six kilometers) or ride around it on a bike. Also, men with pirogues will take you across the barrage for a small fee. A pirogue is small canoelike boat propelled by a man or boy with a long stick or tree branch. He pushes the stick against the bottom of the barrage, where water turns into mud, and guides the boat—just like a gondola in Venice (though not quite as romantic in 40-degree-Celsius heat).