Saturday, July 22, 2006


2nd May Baba’s
Dreaming once more about the little hotel by the Bani crossing… Perhaps I should do it after all? But in connection with my little Bogolan factory? After all the bogolan needs to be close to the river. Yesterday I spent some time with a French/Algerian poet and author who was out here doing research on a 15th c. Algerian scholar and builder of great mosques. We ended up at the Campement at night drinking lots of beer- the staff, normally so friendly towards me suddenly become decidedly frosty. I realize they thought I was cheating on Keita, and it was not the done thing for me to be seen with the toubab. But I really enjoyed myself and I realize how much I enjoy the company of people from my own culture now and then. -although in this case the man was three quarter Algerian- with a classical Europan education though.

Keita is back - he called when I got back from the Campement- when I stepped out of the shower he was sitting on my verandah- I was very pleased to see him- he looked lovely and MEAN- a bit like an LA rapper, or whatisname from Pulp Fiction, Uma Thurman’s husband, the gangsta. But of course he is not mean at all, but quite a pussycat.. I will make him food tonight. He is bringing a DVD with a comedy from the Ivory Coast- (ahem…), and he might even pop in this afternoon- I am supposed to teach him chess. Let’s see how we get on these remaining weeks.

23 May
The last three weeks have been rather earth moving- have not written my diary since the computer has more or less given up the ghost, as predicted, in a protest over the dust ladened environment.. Have slowly found a new way to navigate around the difficulties and so much has happened that I really need to record it. It looks as if I AM going to be a hoteliere after all… Inshallah, if all the papers come through. I am already the lessee of a piece of ground just at the entrance of the city, by the brick and pottery works. A square 50x40 metres, overlooking the mosque in the distance, and with the beginnings of a hotel built already. Keita has enlisted everyone useful in Djenne for the project, including the architect Boucoum who has restored all the old houses in Djenne. All these people play cards at his place in the evenings. The Maire too is a habitue. The picture above shows Keita in front of the hotel -to-be.
Going back to London to raise the money for the venture! Speak soon! Posted by Picasa


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