Sunday, January 28, 2007

By the lake of the sacred crocodiles...

In the village of Amani in the heart of Dogon Country we had one of the most wonderful interludes of our up-country trip. It started out as one of what Doria termed the "Mr Roger's moments" -- events set up by the tour company to appear we were just taking part in local village life, but were in fact entirely pre-planned for our benefit... as in" oh look, here comes the cheif's Griot to pay him a visit". In this case a group of Fulani women came by selling milk as we sat in a local guest-house waiting for our lunch. But despite the fact that we found no language in common, it turned into a real moment of contact, and we all had a lot of fun.

This beautiful young woman arrived at the gig late, and was just a little shy about joining in.

After lunch we took a lot of pictures - the party kept getting bigger. Kneeling in the center with the donkey-headed walking stick is Ousman, our local guide while we were in Dogon Country. He was a really great guy -- and very funny. Really liked the dramatic pose. After lunch, we walked over to the pond to see the crocodiles..

I know the late Steve Irwin would have been walzting with this guy - but I kept a little distance. None of the locals seemed to worry about them at all as they lumbered in and out of the water and basked in the sun. My friend Gilles had warned me to watch out for the crocs in Mali - so I bought him a little bronze croc-art pipe from a vendor set up by the pond.


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