by Jennifer Akers, Boké, Guinea
Boké is right next to a large river. In fact, several smaller villages within Boké are located on islands. These islands are reached only by crossing the river in a pirogue, which is a small wooden boat shaped much like a canoe. These boats are often in terrible shape and can be dangerous. I have heard many stories of people falling into the water during a trip in a pirogue. Moreover, boats are often used in place of bridges throughout Guinea. To get to Boké, one must cross a river by means of a flat boat made for transporting vehicles. During the rainy season, when the waters are rougher and fuller, riding on this flat boat can be scary and quite dangerous. Often, these boats can break down for long periods, hindering any movement.