Monday, February 06, 2012

‘O la la, c’est comme La Suède en Novembre!
remarked our only guests, two French couples, as they huddled for warmth with their coffee this morning. And indeed, the Harmattan is sweeping in with unprecedented vigour from the North today. It is actually cold! That is to say it is perhaps 18 degrees…
I am wandering around rather forlornly in my dusty and near empty hotel, not able to engage in anything. News are reaching us about worrying events: it appears that Touaregs have been attacked in Bamako and other places in retaliation for the attacks by rebel Touaregs on certain towns and villages in the north. As so often happens, to be present in a country at the time of unrest does not guarantee inside knowledge as the events are taking place. Djenné is peaceful as always, far away from the centre of events, seemingly removed in both place and time.

On a happier note, Le tout Djenné was bracing itself yeaterday for last night’s football match: the Cup of Africa quarterfinal which was played against the host nation, the redoubtable Gabon. I watched it with the staff as usual on a big night, under the Malian flag which the patriotic Maman had nailed to the mud wall as a banner.
After a nail biting marathon of a match Mali won on penalties. Djenné exploded in jubilation; all available mopeds and cars running backwards and forwards, their horns beeping for hours, rather drowning the other, more melodious sound produced by the chanting of prayers from the 50 Koran Schools of Djenné during this week of Maoloud.


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