Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Djenne itself had no power and no water. As far as the electricity goes, Djenne Djenno could put two fingers up with some glee to the authorities who haven't done anything to help us out. We are doing just fine, thank you, with our generator, and nothing changes on that score.
We were fully booked yesterday. A new tour operator, with whom we have had no previous dealings, arrived with his two elderly Americans about lunchtime. They had been booked in to a twin room for some time - there had been no more doubles left for them. The exceptionally arrogant young guide took one look at the room and announced, haughtily, that his clients needed a double bed. I said that I had been unable to offer one, since the doubles had been booked for a long time already, and that I had made that clear at the time of the booking.. The young man decided to swan off into town, and the elderly couple didn't even get a look in to what in fact is our best twin room- the Serakolle, newly decorated by Dembele, and very pretty indeed, with a fan AND an airconditioner. The arrogant guide took the last remaining room at the Maffir, and his poor elderly clients had to spend the night not only without electricity, but without water too, since Djenne had a water, as well as an electricity cut.
Ha! what concern is electricity or water cuts to us? Djenne Djenno galvanised itself into the spirit of Dunkirk. We ordered a 50m long new hosepipe, attached it to our marvellous pump (see entries September) and pumped our well water into our reserve water tank, which was then treated with the required amount of bleach. (triumphantly displayed above by Igor.)The same night I drank our own well water, well chilled, and I am alive to write this. All our guests had showers and their air conditioners ran all night, if that is what they wanted.
I couldn't sleep however, so I went wandering around at about 3 am. As usual there was no Boubakar to be seen. (The night watch man). I walked around shining my torch into every possible nook and cranny to try and discover the hide-away of my illusive guardian. Finally I found him, soundly asleep on my bogolan printing table, well out of the way of any possible thief's progress.
I have never so far EVER woken up in the middle of the night, gone out into the garden and found him awake.What is more I have to scream at the top of my voice and shine the torch directly into his face in order to arouse him.
That reminds me of my friend Clare's father. When she was a little girl her father was the Colonial Governor of St. Lucia. He came home one night after a party and found three watchmen asleep at the gate. He shook them awake and demanded to know why they were all asleep.
One said he was just coming on duty, the other that he was just going off duty and the third said that he was in training...


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