Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Update on the staff situation:
The lovely but troublesome Beigna has left us- sacked for the forth and final time. He finally left in a cloud of revolutionary glory, a sort of people’s hero, the Thomas Sankara of Djenne Djenno, fighting for the downtrodden staff. It is too longwinded to go into here but involved, amongst other things, a row about food left uncovered in the kitchen, and the rubbish not being disposed off in the proper manner. Like a good democratic Scandinavian I wanted to talk sensibly and explain things to the staff to quell the rebellion, but Keita told me to shut up and keep out of it: ‘You talk too much!’ Then Keita went into Frightening Mood, an impressive state only brought out once a year or so and the incipient revolution was nipped in the bud. Beigna was sacked and the rest told that if they didn’t like things they could leave. They all stayed.

Instead we have Ernest (above) as our new barman/manager. He has already been with us for a few months. We took him on when he was sacked from the Campement allegedly for stealing. He had been there many years and both Keita and I knew him very well. We chose not to believe the rumour and took him on immediately, to the great cheer of the many who also thought the Campement were in the wrong. Ernest knows everybody in the tourism industry in Mali, all the guides know him and respect him. He has a very soothing manner and immense tact. He understands something Beigna never understood: He know that whatever I say I am right, and he always agrees with me. Here he is taking the initiative to put some flowers in the Peulh suite for today’s family who will soon be arriving. I am pleased with him and don’t have the heart to tell him I don’t like the colour combination.


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