Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Monday, September 21, 2015
Meanwhile I plummeted. I had not fully recovered from my own illness and suddenly I was very sick again with severe diarrhea, fever, extremely low blood pressure (70/40) strange palpitations, bref, I was so weak I could hardly stand up. Last Tuesday I was admitted to a private clinic here where they rehydrated me with a drip, and put me back in reasonable shape again as well as taking plenty of tests including a coloscopy with biopsies the results of which will be winging themselves hither from Germany in a couple of weeks only.
As if this was not enough drama, Eva flew off to Burkina Faso last week (where she is also ambassador) and arrived smack bang in the middle of a Coup d'Etat. She managed to get back here again a couple of days later (the same day as I was discharged from the clinic) and played us the recording she had made with her mobile phone from the balcony of her hotel in Ouagadougou featuring mortar fire and machine gun salvos.
Today Keita will leave for Segou and Tabaski with his other family. I am staying here until the weekend when I will return to Djenné if I am strong enough. This week is more or less a long holiday beginning tomorrow with the Malian Independence Day and on Thursday it is Tabaski.
People are leaving Bamako on trips to what is regarded as safe areas: Sikasso, Kayes; south to Kangaba etc. No Embassy staff are allowed to travel to Djenné of course.
Eva has never been to Djenné and it is unlikely that she will be able to go on a private trip since she cannot herself do something she tells her staff they are not able to do.
So I came up with what I believe to be a wonderful idea which I suggested to Eva: she should travel incognito. She and I would dress up in full black burqa, and Denis her cook and sometime driver would be disguised as a gulf potentate who would be driving his two wives to Djenné to worhip at the Djenné Mosque for Tabaski. This suggestion was received with a lot of laughter from both Eva and Denis. I guess I must also clarify that my inspired idea was sadly not accepted .The thing is: I was really serious. My friend Karen of Toguna Tours, one of the only still operating tour organizers here has a client who wants to go to Timbuktu. Karen has said that she is prepared to arrange a trip to Djenné, Mopti and the Dogon country but that she cannot help her to get to Timbuktu. That trip, along a lonely piste through the desert between Douanza and Timbuktu is considered to be too dangerous. Now, if I wanted to go to Timbuktu I would take one of the local taxi brousses that travel that way every day, but I would travel in full burqa. I believe it would be a safe way to go.
Wednesday, September 09, 2015
A Haven at Eva's and Kindness from the Sleeping Camel
‘Keita has just had his 2nd treatment and is feeling good” I wrote in the entry below. Here he is that same evening with Eva’s cat Sotis on his lap (the cat loves Keita). But that picture marks the the end of the plain sailing days alas...
Thursday, September 03, 2015
A New Trip Advisor report for the hotel!
- Stayed August 2015, traveled solo
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Pictures and dresses
The picture is hanging at an evermore precarious angle and this time it is seemingly even being propped up by a broom. I am trying to resist a childish idea that it is somehow a barometer of our life situation. Forgive the quality of the picture, Keita refuses to let me get near the picture to try and straighten it and gets very cross with me if I try. (see comments on June 29 blog).
So, well, here we are and if all goes well Keita will have his first treatment with his new drug early Monday morning. I am on antibiotic injections because of a banal infection so will probably be back to my normal self in a few days inshallah.
I am still in feud with the library and to that I have added the MaliMali Studio yesterday with Maman as the biggest culprit: it is he who cuts out the garments. We have to send a shipment by Fedex to an American lady and it should have been sent in the past week. But when the garments arrived in Bamako from the Djenné studio I noticed that our classic Robe Empire had been cut with a seam in the front! This might seem like a bagatelle to most people, but it would be impossible in my opinion to send the dress in that condition. Now I became my usual charming self and barked down the telephone to Maman and Dembele that they would redo the dress ''I don't care how you do it'. I don't care if you work all night!'. It means of course first dyeing the fabric, then painting it, then washing off the mud at the river, then cutting it out- without front seam!- and finally giving it to Alpha to sew, and all by tonight when it has to be given to the Djenné bus which leaves for Bamako Monday morning...
Meanwhile we are both resting in Eva's lovely place all day today, feeling very grateful for this island of peace and comfort.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Nevertheless It goes without saying that Keita’s health is over riding all other concerns. This is undoubtedly the largest worrying factor, and the Bamako agents who have been in charge of the delivery of Keita’s drug- without which he will certainly die- had told us it would take around two weeks to arrive from France. The time is now creeping up to a month and still no drug. Keita is complaining of increasing pain from his back which is, as we know, riddled with tumours. Add to this the events in Palmyra and the recent fighting in Kidal which threathens to undo the fragile Malian peace accord and the witches brew begins to thicken.