Monday, February 09, 2015

The Maltese Falcon

Djenné is rapidly losing the last vestiges of its short ‘winter’ season when a woolen sweater is briefly useful for dining in the garden under the stars.  The more characteristic  searing heat of the spring months is almost upon us. I love the dry heat of the Sahel - bring it on!
It has been quite fun at the hotel these last few days with quite a few people passing through. Interesting people- film makers,  writers and  assorted stray adventurers. The Bamako diplomats are not allowed to come however because of strict instructions from their respective high commands which have once more decreed that  Djenné is out of bounds. A couple of weeks ago 12 people were killed in a Jihadist attack  at the village of Tenencou which  lies quite close to Djenné if one looks at a map.  In reality however there is the great barrier of the Niger river which lies between Djenné and Tenencou  which puts us  out of immediate danger of attack- geographically Djenné is relatively sheltered since there has never so far been any rebel activity on the river and these people prefer to arrive in pick-ups for their raids and disappear into the desert once more immediately without trace. This cannot happen in Djenné  which lies tucked in on its little island in the Niger Delta surrounded by water to the east of the great Niger. Anyway, sure, as the crow flies it is close to Tenecou...

And talking of crows flying brings me on to the subject of our two Maltese who turned up last week with their magnificent flying machine: a camera that flies with remote control! They got up extemely early and  had breakfast at 5.30 (I am so proud of my uncomplaining  and ever willing staff !) then they moved on to catch the first light at the mosque where they set off their flying camera and made these beautiful images.

This activity, a novelty for the Djennenké who gathered around in a large group of spectators , was not without  its dangers... one of the spectators rushed off to the Gendarmerie and reported that there were toubabs in front of the mosque who were flying  a drone over Djenné! The Maltese were promptly hauled off to the Gendarmerie for questioning and eventually let free after being harangued by the Commandant about  proper behaviour and that they should have asked permission...




Blogger David said...

Another string to your bow, those fabulous aerial shots (and maybe the cover of your book, when it happens, wonderful as your own pics are...) I hope the Djenneke were delighted with the results and the Maltese sent the Gendarmerie an enlarged copy of one of them.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Susan Scheid said...

Those photographs are A-1 amazing!

3:31 AM  
Blogger David said...

Did they take one from above of the Hotel Djenne Djenne compound?

9:58 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

Thank you both! Yes, indeed the pictures are amazing-alas I only started talking to these two hotel guests at the breakfast table on the morning of their leaving the hotel- a great shame since we got on really well and spent at least an hour talking while their guide was hovering about and glaring at me for keeping his clients from going on to no pics of the hotel alas

1:44 PM  
Blogger Kim Hart said...

These are gorgeous photos Sophie. We just got back from Marrakech and what were we talking about? How great aerial photography would be of the old Medina where we were staying and Jemaa, the main square, as my sister has just got her pilots license for drone photography - she works in outside broadcasting for ITV - and then there it all is in your blog when I turn on my computer - as ever Djenne got there first! Terrific.

6:02 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home