Sunday, August 26, 2012

Spent the morning at the library again, working with Mohammed (above right, with Garba) on the new website, which will give information about the library in French, English and Arabic. Mohammed is the young man we recruited from the Ecole Normale Superieure in Bamako a few weeks ago, as you may remember. I had found it impossible to choose between two candidates: there had also been a girl, just as qualified. She was also supposed to come for a trial month in September. As it turned out, she cancelled on her own accord, which was fortunate for me: Mohammed is turning out to be just what we need, so her trial month would have been a waste of time.
Mohammed is staying at the hotel at the moment. He is trying out his English on me at every opportunity. It is very good, in an astonishing and hilarious way. He is a bookish young man, with no interest in football or other normal blokey things. He is now reading Mungo Park’s ‘Journey into the Iinterior of Africa,’ on my recommendation. When he found out that I am Swedish and not a native English speaker he made me laugh by observing: ‘But your English is inspirational and prolific!’ He is full of such pithy comments.

And the library soap opera rumbles on. Today the sou-prefet summoned me: that is to say, he stopped his car and waved me down when he saw me going past on my Yamaha trailbike with Mohammed riding pillion. Could I pop by the Prefecture tomorrow morning? He would like a word with me. Of course, I promised him to be there tomorrow morning.
I have a fair idea that he is going to try and stop the planned conference with the Timbuktu manuscript expert, who is leaving for Djenne tomorrow. He will try and claim that the library project is sowing civil unrest in Djenne. If this is so, it is of course nonsense- the unrest in Djenne stems from one source only- the whole town stands united behind the library and the project. I will be polite but firm, and insist on a signed letter with clear explanation for the reason why if he wants to stop the conference, or indeed the project.
So here goes!


Blogger Richard Trillo said...


10:48 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Thank you Richard,
it is good to know that you are looking in!

10:54 PM  
Blogger David said...

Inspirational and prolific indeed! Keep up the courageous work..


1:28 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

hello Davide darling,
only twenty minutes left before the SHOWDOWN at the prefecture...!
Yee Ha! Never a dull moment here...

2:25 PM  

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