Original Article Post Date:
Waiting for the Rain
Foreign Policy, 4 December 2012
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — The town of Bandiagara, population 12,000, sits on a plateau of smooth sandstone bluffs, grass, acacia, and palm trees that ends at an astonishing complex of cliffs so high and abrupt that any of them on a dusty day can surprise a traveler as if a piece of the globe has suddenly broken away. Bandiagara's dirt homes, shellacked with mud stucco, bear the red tinge of this land's iron-rich soil, farmed for centuries by the Dogon people and roamed by Fulani and Tuareg herders.