Friday, March 02, 2012

The temperature is rising in Djenne- my bedroom showed 32 C yesterday afternoon. I am not adverse to the heat, on the contrary, but the time is approaching when I start dreaming about Europe. I have spent 8 uninterrupted months in Djenne now. This picture- apparently the view from the Bucharest Hilton- may have something to do with this sudden onset of Heimweh for Europe again. It was sent me in an email from Tripadvisor (we now have 50 reviews!) illustrating the world’s 10best views from a hotel window.
The picture, with its Ludwig of Bavaria style edifice, also had the effect of propelling me out of my chair where I had been snoozing in the midday heat under the fan to go searching for my sketch pad once more… I think we will have to make something like this out of mud!It will add those rooms we needed before the problems started, and will need again insh'allah!

It is quite possible, I am convinced. The scale will be changed to suit the new land, where we have now nearly completed the landfill . The level of the new land, about the size of a football field, is now rising to around one metre higher than the surrounding area which was inundated in 2010. Dolly the donkey and his girlfriend, still with no name, as well as two labourers and le Fou have spent about two years of patient digging and moving of earth to accomplis this feat.

I will show this picture to Boucoum my mud architect when he comes for dinner with me and Keita tonight. It will need enormous foundations, but it should be possible! The decorative details of the façade will of course be Djenne style. Naturally, it is not a sensible thing to do in the present climate. We should of course wait and see what happens regarding tourism…. But sensible behaviour has never been my forte…


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