Sunday, July 23, 2006

23 July, Notting Hill, London

Writing in real time for the first time. Tomorrow morning I am leaving for Africa once more.
I have remortgaged my flat and raised the money needed for my little mud hotel in Djenné, which will be called Hotel Djenné-Djenno, the ancient name of the city. I am flying to Ouagadougo, Burkina Faso, which is closer to Djenné than Bamako. I will be heavily ladened with baggage needless to say, most of which is equestrian equipment. I am buying a horse as soon as I arrive- there are lovely horses in Djenné, but they are used mainly for the pulling of carts. I will buy a young one and school it myself.

The second item which is packed in some quantity is solar garden lights. Yesterday morning I went to Woolworths in Portobello Road where they have a HUGE reduction on 'Charlie Dimmock's elegant stainless steel Garden Lights.' These are apparently bright enough to read by, and COULD solve a lot of problems in Doteme Tolo, the new part of town where my hotel is situated and where there is no electricity. Should I have wished to, I would also have been able to buy solar powered garden gnome lights, conforming to a more traditional Woolworth aesthetic.
Solar power indeed.
Through the excellent Timbuktu Chronicles on this our esteemed Blogger site, I came across a Malian company called Zirasun who will set me up with all my electricity needs for the hotel from solar panels made in Mali!
In addition, it seems that I can be hooked up to the internet via satellite and antennas made from recycled waterbottles. Well, all this is yet rather vague, but I shall keep you informed! My hotel will be a mixture of ancient mud architecture and cutting edge Heath Robinson survival technology.
Speak soon. Posted by Picasa


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