Sunday, February 18, 2007

The view from our new sunset bar cannot really be appreciated from this picture alas. On the horizon is the Great Mosque, and in the distance on the plain that separates us from the city of Djenné all the football teams of Djenné practise every night, kicking up great dust clouds which gives the plain a golden sheen in the setting sun. The numerous players are outlined like the little stick figures in a Laurie painting. A lone Fulani shepherd passes with a herd of cattle, a most elegant figure with his pointed hat and stick slung across his shoulders.
Keita by the way, like all Africans, thinks that sunsets are très toubab. Should you venture this way and hear an African talking to you about the beauty of a sunset, beware. He has learned what tourists like and is trying to impress you, because to him sunsets are invariably a waste of time. Beauty of nature is something we Europeans have only just enjoyed in the last couple of hundred years after all- when Mungo Park went through here in 1795 and wrote in his diaries about 'a most romantic valley', that idea was quite new in Europe too, and when he commented on the beauty of nature to his Malinke companions he got about the same response as I get when I mention it to Keita- ça ne me dit absolument rien. Posted by Picasa


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