Monday, December 14, 2015

Lucia in Bamako

Back in Mali just in time to help Eva decorate for  the St Lucia celebrations at the Swedish embassy residence- it was a splendid party last night with carols, glogg (our Swedish gluhwine) delicious Swedish finger food and over a hundred guests who mingled happily in the glittering gardens by the swimming pool.  This Bamako interlude is of course not really my home coming yet and it feels almost like a continuation of my last London days which was full of Christmas revelling often courtesy of my dear friends Jeremiah and David who always have the best tickets and invitations and let me tag along: below at the Norwegian embassy Christmas do.

 The real homecoming will be tomorrow: Keita is with me and we are travelling north to Djenné in our old Mercedes. Our Christmas will be a quiet affair this year: it is unlikely that we will have any hotel guests. But we are not alone: there will be Birgit joining us as usual and also our old friend Karen, who is probably the only tour operator still functioning in Bamako. And of course we will make our usual Christmas celebrations with the staff: Boubakar the old gardner will dress up as Father Chrismas once more and bring the presents for everyone...
But there is no doubt that tomorrow we are leaving one world and arriving at another: a totally different environment where the most sophisticated item one is likely to find in a shop is a tin of sardines and where any social activities we are likely to partake in are the ones we create ourselves at the hotel: there will be drinks on the sunset terrace and there will be dinners under the stars in the light of the storm lanterns again; and that is pretty good too!
The greatest thing about the homecoming is that both Keita and I are in good health  alhamdilullah and I feel ready to  dive into my Djenné life once more.

8 Comments:

Blogger David said...

Oh, marvellous - and there was I sending you my pic of the Santa Lucia concert in Orebro, which was so lovely and emotional, thinking you might be homesick for it. Of course La reine de Djenne does not 'tag along' to anything; she is the crowning glory of anything she graces. It was truly wonderful to spend so much time with you at so many good things, not least your farewell (or should I say auf Wiedersehen) dinner. May all be well back at the Mali homestead, and our love to Keita too.

2:40 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Thank you David! It was indeed lovely to spend some good times with you both and other dear friends... that was the upside of that nasty bout of amoebic dysentery!

4:53 PM  
Blogger Adi Sharma said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:49 AM  
Blogger Gilliane said...

Great to hear that you are both feeling well. May your homecoming be happy. I'm sure the staff will be overjoyed to see you back!

9:53 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth F said...

So great ot hear that you are looking forward to Djenné! All the best for the days to come

12:21 PM  
Blogger Laurent said...

Happy Christmas to you and very best wishes for the New Year!

8:15 PM  
Blogger Pascal et Monique said...

Nous sommes très contents de voir que, comme nous l'espérions, tu reprends le dessus. Bon retour, bon Noel et bonne "glissade"dans la nouvelle année, comme disent les allemands. Puisses-tu bien vite retrouver ton regard enthousiaste sur Djenné et retrouver un Mali bientôt apaisé!

9:02 PM  
Blogger Andy Rayner said...

Welcome back.....Great news on the good health.
We are decorating a 2 foot high plastic tree on my office desk today...
A Canadian Lady we know is coming down from Bamako to Sikasso... to stay with an American friend. The four of us will get together for a Christmas meal....
A little more cheery than the year we spent Christmas dinner at the road side resto, Chez Les Amis, with the owner Nestor, who happened to be Catholic, With a tree with one star on one branch. But it must have been good, because I still remember the day.

9:26 AM  

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