An American lady tour operator just emailed me and was worried, having seen the pictures of me very much not in Africa and seemingly enjoying a London life style- she has a group of tourists arriving- will I be in London having drinks at book launches or will I be at Hotel Djenne Djenno where I belong when her group of American tourists arrive??? Just to ease her worried mind, and anybody else's who may be looking in- I am going back to Mali as soon as I possibly can, there is nowhere else I'd rather be. Here is a picture of a lovely afternon at Hotel Djenne Djenno just before I left-the two chaps sitting are griots (see entry around end March 07), they are playing my new guitar and singing while Dembele is making some Bogolan cloth, and I have just painted the new sign for Hotel Djenne Djenno (seen on the right by the bar). I am going to encourage more music at the Hotel- I will buy more instruments and who-knows? maybe a little orchestra will rise up?
I am very pleased with my staff at the Hotel! Yesterday they stayed watching all day waiting out for our two reservations to arrive, to prevent the last three weekends scenario being repeated: i.e. everyone went straight past thinking the hotel was closed because the approach road was closed off by the flood water! But this time The staff were standing waiting with a canoe to take the hotel guests across and on the other side there was the horse and carriage waiting! Well, if that isn't the spirit of enterprise...!