Tuesday, July 03, 2012

A heavily protected Hotel Djenne Djenno opened up its gates again last night to a delegation from the Dutch Embassy and the aid organisation CARE Mali.
Papa and Fatou produced their venerable Boeuf Keita ,while Baba served Cocktails Djenne Djenno on the terrace, and the griots sang once more, just as if everything was back to normal. But it was Fatou's last night here: our very first employee is leaving for Sikasso. 'My husband has decided I must go and stay with him now for security reasons' she told me. How sad to see Fatou go! I remember December 2006, when she and I went shopping in the Djenne market together even before the hotel opened. (See blog entry).
The Djenne situation is still more or less unknown to me since have not even had time to go into town yet! More soon..


Blogger David said...

Such a shame about the delightful Fatou - end of an era. A new one, however, begins, and knowing your miraculous adaptability, all is not lost. And you have customers within days of re-opening. Alas for the armed guard, though - that's a surprising development for Djenne. I was surprised to read somewhere that most of its inhabitants support Ansar Dine, or used to.

5:31 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Ah, David, yes, how sad to see Fatou leave!
About Ansar Dine, it appears that this movement has existed a long time in Mali, under the leadership of its charismatic preacher founder Ousman Sherif Haidara, who lives and operates in Bamako. But the Ansar Dine that he represents is not the same Jihadist movement as in Timbuktu. He has denounced publicly and energetically the developments in Timbuktu, and he does not preach Sharia law for Mali, but seems, according to Keita and all accounts, to be rather a positive force.
But who knows? The plot is thickening by the day!

9:56 AM  

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