I'm leaving the old intro here, but adding this- it appears the doves have taken over my blog for their fiction. Just as well, I was doing a piss poor job of updating. They're doing much better.

This blog is infrequently updated, full of incorrect spellings, misused words, and general bad grammar. It started when I was trying to use google+ (which I've since given up on) and discovered there was no character limit for posts. If you've known me a long time, a lot of these stories will be old hat. If you plan to know me for a long time, you'll no doubt hear many of them in person. But, folks seemed to enjoy them, so here they are.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Seventy Fifth story

In DC last weekend, we attempted to go to the Sunday concert at the National Gallery. No go. It had just been written up and the line was out the door. We waited anyway, just in case, but were just a tiny bit to far back in line. I was a bit disappointed. Walking back to the Metro, we ran into this fantastic violinist on the steps of the Natural History Museum. This gal and her friend had arrived just before us, and she was dancing, beautifully, to the music. Dustin and I sat and watched for a long while, long after she left, until we felt as though the violinist was playing just for us, and we knew we weren't gonna pay him enough. It was glorious.


the Seventy Fourth story

After Timbuktoo, we wanted to go to Djenne. Djenne was on our way home. It also has the largest mudbrick structure in the world, and because of the impredictability  of travel, we had four days to spare. We got off our bus at the Carrefour (literally "crossroads" but there were so few that no one seemed to feel any need to name any of them). and set ourselves, as per normal, to wait until there were the requisite number of folks to persuade the driver of the pickup truck to move it. We asked if another bus would be coming by the carrefour later. We were told probably tomorrow. We asked what he was waiting for, then. He said he was waiting for the next bus so there would be more people. We asked if he was planning on waiting overnight. He shrugged. This wait was much more pleasant than most of the others had been, though- there was a local politician waiting for the same pickup, and after sharing his rather tasty bagged lunch with the both of us (we had long since stopped making a point of telling people that we were not, in fact, the forward guard of some aid agency) he persuaded the driver to maybe start out a little sooner than planned. We did spend some four hours out by the crossroads, but this meant we made it to the river crossing right at sunset. The oranges and purples and wonders reflected back on the water, perfectly silhouetting young men standing up in their small boats, poling their way back to the shore. We arrived in town after dark, but our new friend escorted us to a small hostel and introduced us to the proprietors, who then took it upon themselves to make sure we got dinner.

The following day there was a wedding at the hostel, in the courtyard. We found a high point, up on one of the roofs, and watched as everyone mingled- Fulani, Tuereg, Bambara, western aid workers, hostel owners; all in different ideas of formal dress. It was grand, and glorious, and oh so very bright.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

the Seventy Third story


The above is an article  I came across yesterday, about trying to save manuscripts in Timbuktoo while there is fighting going on all around. My mother and I made it to Timbukto, maybe four years ago, now? There were little museum/libraries all over the town, where a family would charge some small admission and let you come in and look at very very old manuscripts under plexiglass displays. We went by the institute in this article, too, and most miraculously, met a resident (student? professor? scribe?) who gave us a mini tour of his favorite books before getting back to the work of copying them. I didn't see the digitizing process, only hand copying. Many of these papers have been hidden before- in walls, underground, taken out to the dunes- and we were told over and over that many had been forgotten, and were likely still encased in mudbrick homes. Here's hoping that words win out.