Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bambara is a very poetic language. The word for fruit, for instance, is JIRIDENW, which means 'children of the trees'. N'dusu ka sira, means 'I am sad'. But in literal translation: 'my heart is crying'.

The Aga Khan Foundation’s scaffolding to restore the collapsed South tower of the Great Mosque takes the shape of a medieval battling ram. The last unseasonal rain in the beginning of November seeped in to the very fibre of the tower, and silently destroyed it. In a parallel just as destructive there are deadly silent powers working their way into the core of my life here in Mali.
Despite wanting to keep this blog a light hearted causerie on my life as an an ex-pat hotelier in a remote Heart of Africa destination, I am finding myself compelled to plunge, once more, into melodrama of a personal kind. I do not yet know the outcome of the present crisis, and I will refrain from going into it just now. It will be resolved by next week in one way or another. Let us just say that it is very serious and existential even. Let us also say that an African family is a 100 tonne bulldozer,or, why not? a battling ram, demolishing everything in its wake. There is no place for personal likes or dislikes. One simply does what the family consensus decrees. A European tip toeing gingerly into this environment will be squashed and annihilated. A European, with our namby pamby post enlightenment ideas of justice and egality will certainly always come out the wrong side of any argument, however much we try and conform and understand.


Blogger Victor Lamont said...

You are too brave for Africa

5:33 AM  
Blogger David said...

But don't leave us all anxious - if you're going public, be brave here too. Or e-mail me if you don't want to say here.

I'm guessing it's the family closing ranks again.

Whatever happens, Hotel Djenne Djenno must go on! It's bigger than you are now (if such a thing is possible).


12:33 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Yes of course Djenne Djenno must go on. And many other things will go on whatever happens. The wrapping up of the library project will happen this week with the arrival of a South African delegation taking over the Hotel wanting to talk about further sponsorship, (they have just built a new library in Timbuktu) and Abdel Kader Haidara coming down from Timbuktu. Excitement, excitement and possibilities of a kind bigger than my own little self and family problems.

4:13 PM  
Blogger David said...

Phew. You do keep scaring us. But where there's blogging, there's hope...

And I have so enjoyed those pix of the kids playing football in front of the mosque and the lovely one of you and Keita.

9:11 PM  
Blogger KJ999 said...

I agree with David. You live such an interesting life and give me such in sight about that historic place in Mali. It makes me even more want to go there and stay at your Hotel. I am hoping to get there sooner than later. I am hoping that that Timbuktu project brings you more attention and business.
Karl from New Jersey

4:19 AM  

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