Wednesday, July 19, 2006


18th April Baba’s.
Good to be back in Djenne again. Walked past the surgery/shop of the big jolly vet Amadou as always, on the corner before turning to Baba’s, waving and throwing him my habitual morning greeting: ‘pas de castrations aujourd’hui?’ This happens every day since the morning I went past and saw a large bull lying on the sandy ground, his legs tied up; the owner holding him down while Amadou wielded a large pair of stainless steel snips expertly and unsentimentally around the substantial testicles of the hapless creature depriving him forever of the joys of love. It was all over in a second, the bull just went rigid, then shuddered for a moment.
I felt a sudden overwhelming sensation in the pit of my stomach, as if my non-existent testicles had reacted in sympathy. I remembered a neurological curiosity I had heard about- that people who had lost a limb could still feel it for a long time after the amputation. Did I feel the testicles I would have had if I had been a man?
This morning as I walked past Amadou was injecting a sheep, stricken with some unidentifiable malaise. The animal stood breathing sharply , suffering patiently, its owner holding it with what looked almost like affection.

But now to work- it is midday already, must go and look at the progress of my new table at the carpenters, and then get started on some of the new cotton I bought in Mopti yesterday- I will be able to use my new iron today- a very pretty Chinese-imported cast-iron charcoal affair. I will also be able to pin the fabric out with my new Mopti-purchased pins, as well as finally cut my Unesco stencils with my new set-square. Allons-y!

Wednesday, Baba’s.
The table is installed, the experiments are continuing- Keita has gone to Bamako again for ten days of seminar - something about blood. Today I need to find some cloth pegs, a cloth line and some drawing pins to pin the fabric out on my new table. Such things are not easy to find here. And yesterday my only brush was ruined by Bob, who spent all day painting bleach with it! I was very upset, and poor Bob slunk off, mortified that he had done something wrong. But of course it wasn’t his fault. Posted by Picasa


Post a Comment

<< Home