Wednesday, July 12, 2006


5 April
Kansaye came to see me yesterday from Mopti. He is the only person I know in Mali more or less- he supplied us with our 4x4s in December, and has taken it upon himself to make sure I am all-right and installed properly. It took him all day to get here- several breakdowns in the cramped bus, no water to drink and great suffering on the dusty plain between Mopti and here. There was a slight ulterior motive to his visit: he wanted to know if I wanted to buy his 'pinasse!' (large fantastic- looking Malian river vessel painted with bright colours on the prow). I remembered we had spoken about it in January. I laughed at the absurdity of the idea: ‘Kansaye be reasonable, what on earth I am going to do with a pinasse here at the moment in this dried-up dust bowl!‘
I was keenly and uncomfortably aware that 'le tout Djenne' would know that the Toubab woman had got a visitor, and that everyone would automatically think that Kansaye was my lover since he was staying the night in my flat. And since my psychiatrist pal Yonatani is coming shortly to visit me from England they will undoubtedly believe he is my lover too and I will have become a scarlet woman. Such delicate matters are hard to negociate here.
Kansaye introduced me to one of the doctors in the Djenne hospital, with whom I will have drinks tonight. I am pleased, because I will have a contact for Yonatani- although I am not entirely sure that the pleasant tall Oumar Keita I was introduced to was actually a doctor, I have the impression he was a laboratory technician- oh, well, its someone at the hospital, de tout facon. Posted by Picasa


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