Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Do not worry, this is not some militia man that has strayed south from Al Quaida’s training camps in the north, it is my dear riding companion, groom and recent bogolan apprentice Pudiogou- seen here next to Petit Bandit.
Although most Malian men shave their heads, and therefore need not worry about ruining their hair styles when it rains, they are worried about getting their heads wet for reasons I cannot fathom. And it has been raining cats and dogs here for about 36 hours now, which spells bad news for a town made from mud. Several hotel rooms have damage on the walls and ceiling and Ace is working flat out to restore things in time for the arrival of a prominent group of guests next week.

People send me more articles, and every time this happens I feel I ought to put things right, to say something to make people see the other side of the coin. But I am too busy with both the library and the MaliMali studio to get involved.
However, this article in the New York Times sent by Erica needs a comment:

I do not think there is anything more sinister than normal happening at Djenne Djenno archeological site. On the contrary, there is a scheme going through at the moment, which involves the planting of several hundred trees to minimize erosion on the site. This is made possible by the Prince Klaus Foundation of the Netherlands with the assistance of the Mission Culturelle here, and it is going ahead as planned. Every time I ride past on Petit Bandit I count more newly planted trees. There have always been people offering antique beads or sculptures they have found in Malian soil- at Djenne Djenno or elsewhere, and this will be hard to stop as long as people are as poor as they are here- it is of course not obligatory to buy..


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