Happy Holiday From Djenne, Mali

We wish all of you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 Photo backdrop is the Bandiagara Escarpement, home of the Dogon. Yes, Greg’s hair is very short. Almost all the men get their heads completely shaved about once every week or two and I had a hard time keeping the barber from not giving me the regular treatment. Ended up with about an eighth inch of hair.

The day before yesterday was a major Muslim holiday–called Tabaski here. We went to the large prayer meeting at 9 a.m. followed by the ritual slaughtering of a lamb.  Almost all men at the prayer session. A few women at the back. It was held in a big square. Unusual for Muslim prayers, young boys took part. Everyone was dressed in their finest. Quite a show.

We’re staying here for the Monday market which according the travel guides is the best in Mali and not to be missed. Then back to Bandigara to catch a festival. We tried to catch a cattle crossing here, but when we went to the town, we found they had rescheduled earlier. We had two independent confirmations of the date–did I say this is Africa.

Then to Mopti where we plan to spend a few days, and hope to catch a boat to Segou, then to Bamako to catch Saturday night music performances. The challenge will be to find out who’s on where.

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