Friday, September 09, 2016

Waiting for the Rain

We are waiting for the rain. It is impossible that the rainy season is over already. But it has not rained for ten days. The clouds gather and the heat and humidity rise to unbearable levels, but there is no release- we are sweltering and it is becoming impossible to sleep or even to work. The water is rising all around us. The fierce  Sahel sun is beating down on the expanse of water causing it to  rise  in hot condensation. This mass of water has not surrounded us because of  rains here in Djenné- it has arrived from the highlands of Guinea whence  the Bani and the Niger  are  bringing it down in torrents.


Moussa, Keita’s fifteen year old son has just spent part of his summer holidays with me here in Djenné. When we arrived on the 20th of August the water stood high at the little Bozo village Sanouna, the place where one boards the ‘Bac’, the ferry across the Bani. Now the river has burst its banks and the road is no longer visible. There is a means of controlling the flow of the water now: the Soala Dam close by Djenné has been constructed in order to irrigate in the area. But this causes tension of course: The Bozo fishermen in Sanouna, however much water is their native element, do not want to have their mud houses destroyed by the floods so they now need the water to be redirected. Meanwhile all those that have sowed their rice, millet or corn need their crops to rise higher before the fields are inundated otherwise they will lose their harvest. 

And then there is the road. I am leaving for Bamako tomorrow. I dare not travel in the Mercedes but am given a lift with the new Chef de Mission Culturelle. Only 4X4s can now travel on the flooded road by the Sanouna crossing.  We are nearly cut off here now. 
 It is beautiful here in the rainy season. The shea butter trees are adorning the landscape like great oaks in the parkland of a country estate. 
All is emerald green, apart from the Acacias who have chosen this time of excess to pretend that they are dead.  Apparently  lifeless, the  Thorn trees are standing there grey, sullen  and spiky like great Memento Moris in the midst of fatness and plenty.  Instead they will spring to life during the great heat of April and May when all else dies.  This is undoubtedly a parable of something hopeful Anyway, I approve of their contrariness.


Blogger Tabor said...

Lovely post. You seem to be in a mellow time of your life now, leaning towards acceptance of changes.

1:54 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Thank you Tabor! Yes, I am feeling quite mellow, and I accept that all of this is nearly over now. But not quite- just hoping and praying that I can wrap it up in a good and fair way for everyone...

4:53 PM  
Blogger jm.herraiz said...

A nice piece of literature, that last paragraph, Sophie.

9:10 AM  

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