Monday, December 21, 2015

Back in the Saddle

Back in Djenné for almost a week now  where everything is same as always: Djenné feels tucked away,  far from the troubled danger zones of Mali, although the think tank reports by  MINUSMA and other expert observers will have it that we are in fact right in the middle of it all...nevertheless life in Djenné continues as it always has.
I went for my first ride on Petit Bandit the other day who seemed happy to see me (or was it just that he remembered that I am the one who always  carry bread in my bag?)

 I finished decorating our old Christmas tree which is made from old spray cans, and our Christmas Turkey arrived yesterday!

The other night we even had some guests in the hotel, our old friends Dima and Clara Bondarev for the Manuscript Library. They brought with them Fr. Columba Stewart, a Benedicine munk from Minnesota and the director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library who have been digitizing endangered archives for the last forty years and can be said to be the world authority on digitizing.  This was a stroke of luck since I had brought with me our three new Nikons for the Djenné Manuscript Library which he kindly helped us to put into action.
With such interesting  guests we enjoyed once more one of those lingering dinners  with lively and memorable  conversation under the stars in the light of the storm lamps that used to be a staple at Hotel Djenné Djenno in happier times.

 And last but not least Keita and I were invited  to a Djenné wedding yesterday: the bride and bridegroom front left below and at the back we have my tailors Bob (left) and Alpha right in the white cap- he was the proud father of the very pretty bride. Djenné weddings are joyous and lively  affairs with plenty of drumming, dancing  and noisy griots and griottes chanting the praises of all present and hoping for a few francs. It all begins after the signing in the Mairie with the photo opportunity  in the Vestibule of the old Djenné houses (below) where all the friends and neighbours crowd in for  the  Fatias and benediction prayers.
And tomorrow begins Christmas proper it feels like since Birgit is arriving on the First Bani bus from Bamako to be picked up by Acé at the Djenné Carrefour!


Blogger David said...

This all makes a very good example of why you go back. And you look so proud and fine on your not always trusty steed.

5:12 PM  
Blogger mary said...

How wonderful that you are now back in Djenne. Recharged and already enjoying the delights and treasures that abound there.
Have a wonderful Christmas. Yesterday we dressed our turkey and I hope that yours is as tasty as I expect ours to be.
Greetings from a very balmy Northumberland,

9:37 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Yes, indeed, it is great to be back.
Only wish I had some of the cranberry sauce for the turkey that will no doubt grace the table in Northumberland or in West London.... Forgot to bring some back, although I remembered the Christmas pudding! A Great Christmas to you!

6:20 AM  
Blogger jim said...

So lovely to see you back in Djenne looking happy and healthy. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and may 2016 bring you joy and happiness and a bright future in Mali.

Kind regards
Chris - Melbourne, Australia

9:58 PM  

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