Sunday, April 03, 2011


We have just revived something at the hotel: every member of the Djenne Djenno personnel is allowed one night a year in the hotel as a guest. That means being picked up by Max and the carriage, arriving at the hotel and being shown to one of the best rooms, having the luggage carried of course. It means having as much Coca Cola or Fanta as one can drink, and one's favourite dinner, being served at the table with the other hotel guests. It means having an orchestra with 'griots'singing one's praises all night. It means watching satellite TV and sleeping in an air conditioned room with a private bath room and hot water shower.
The last member of personnel to benefit was Pudiogou, my groom, and his young wife who spent the night in the Saurai suite last night. Here they are this morning with their young son Ali just before leaving...
Africans have a great sense of the theatrical. Although the rest of the staff had giggled about this all afternoon before their arrival, they behaved with great dignity once their workmate and his wife arrived. Pudiogou, of the Dogon tribe, became M. l'Ambassadeur du Pays Dogon. Everyone treated him like an ambassador and noone let on that they knew him. He, likewise, took on the role with great seriousness.
Next week it will be old Boubakar the gardener and his wife, Inshallah...

3 Comments:

Blogger Marie said...

What a brilliant idea! I love it.

8:07 AM  
Blogger Grey said...

I was looking for images of hatumere amulet calligraphy on Google, which led me to your blog. Normally I don;t have time to read them but I really enjoyed reading yours. Your idea of staff enjoying a night at the hotel is more than wonderful-- i wish the whole world would think as you do.

I am working on solving a mystery involving an "amulet" (perhaps) found in the US in an area that had a fairly large enslaved Muslim population in the 18th and 19th C. Would like to tell you more about it so will try to find an email address for you via the hotel site. All the very best!

11:58 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

Dear Marie, thank you!
And thank you Greg too.
How interesting! Please do contact me via the Hotel: res@hoteldjennedjenno.com

7:53 PM  

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