Wednesday, December 28, 2011

About ten days ago I was handed an envelope that someone had delivered. I glanced at the content. I saw something about ‘Assainissement de Djenne,… votre Soutien financiere et moral ….etc. ‘ and I stuffed it in my pocket, probably mumbling something under my breath along the lines of ‘your’e not going to get a penny from me.’ Then a few days later, as I was having breakfast, a small group of rather smartly dressed young people arrived. (Oh-Oh, what is it Now ??? I steeled myself for what was undoubtedly going to cost me some money, which is now in short supply here. )
“Yes??? I enquired.” What can I do for you?”
‘We are from the Association XXXXXX’ explained the spokesman. “We came here a few days ago with a request letter”. Oh, yes, I remembered. “ You are the people about the Cleaning up of Djenne?’ Yes, said the young man, Our Association is for the Cleaning of Denne and for the Young Unemployed. We want to organise a Dance.'
I interrupted: 'Ok, so you are unemployed and you want to clean up Djenne. That is marvellous. Go ahead! What are you waiting for?' ‘We don’t have any money, said a young girl in a sequinned evening gown. ‘So the request letter was actually intended to raise some money to organise a dance. We hope to raise some money with this dance in order to buy cleaning equipment. ‘ Hold on a moment’, I objected. ‘ Do you want to clean up Djenne or do you want to have a dance? If you want to clean up Djenne we can go straight ahead. I tell you what. Tomorrow morning at 8.30 Birgit and I will meet you at the Tomb of Tapama.' I glanced across at Birgit who was nodding energetically. 'Everyone should just bring a broom from home . We will all start working and by midday it will be cleaned up! We will show you that it is going to be possible to do the major part of the cleaning up up Djenne just by picking up paper and then burning it! Then, after that, we might start thinking about your dance. OK?’
'Ok,' said the delegation, rather crest fallen.
Later we got a phone call. It was not going to be possible to meet up the following day. Everyone had other things to do. And in any case they had to have a meeting of the association about this. 'OK, that is fine,' said Birgit. We will do it next Wedneday at 8.30 at the Tomb of Tapama. In that way you all have plenty of time to get organised. ‘
This morning at 8.30 Birgit and I went to the Tomb of Tapama, armed with our brooms. The Young Unemployed for the Cleaning Up of Djenne were obviously otherwise engaged….


Blogger David said...

A Happy New Year to our dear and courageous Sophie - may more of these good things continue in Djenne in 2012 (and may they treasure you as they should).


12:45 PM  

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