Dienstag, 29. Dezember 2009

24. 12. On the way to Dogon country

Manuel went with Stefan to film the mechanics and local recycling metalworkers. There are not so many in Mopti.

I went with Igor to take care of the trash in the streets, but this time I felt a bit sick. Mopti is on islands between the rivers Niger and Bani, who meet there. Around the city there are huge swamps. The city itself is quite touristic and clean, only a few broken ceramic vessels, but as soon as you leave the main streets, you find mountains of trash along the riverbanks and in the swamps. Children are playing there, men build their pirogues, women are cooking and everybody tells us not to take the trash, it is not healthy. Again we found a lot of playing cards, the rest was quite nasty (dead fish, animal skins, plastic…)

On the bridge to the mosque an older woman was sitting between assorted plastic and glass bottles, obviously to sell. She did not want me to take a photograph, so I bought one of the bottles for 100 CFA (approx. 15,- cent) – another dividend for one of our lucky shareholders. The woman smiled satisfied.

Around 4 p.m. we left Mopti to head for the Dogon country. At 6:30 p.m. – oops, we found out, it really is Christmas Eve. We kept driving into the sunset, and arrived at Djeme´s relatives when it got dark. They welcomed us warmly, and we were sitting in front of the house eating with the men, while the 3 wives stayed in the courtyard.

23. 12. Mopti

Yapas Probleme Hotel: spacey, high standard hotel with swimming pool and roof top terrace restaurant, for people with small budget they offer mattresses and mosquito nets on a quiet part of the roof for a low price. 2 of us took mattresses, 2 stayed in the truck, which therefore could stay safely at the watched parking lot of the hotel. We could use the power plugs on the terrace and on the swimming pool, toilets and showers, and there was a fast wifi (for an extra of Eur 3,- for all of us for the whole time of the stay). Chill out and cool down.

Stefan cleaned up our truck, and the women washing cloth outside asked to have a look into our “home”. After the first amazement, they started to laugh, sing and dance in our small “living room” – there ARE Europeans, who can live in such small and simple spaces!

Our devices start to break down, too much dust, shaking and heat. My camera gets problems with storing, and the lens doesn´t always function properly. Igor´s zoom stopped to work properly 1 week ago.

At the beginning I was shooting like crazy, you never know what´s on the picture when the truck is shaking. Now I am happy about anything I get at all.

Manuel has a friend in Mopti, Djeme, who runs an antique shop with beautiful masks, chairs and jewels. His shop is in the big central market hall, so time for us to finally go to the market with our trash.

The original plan was to bargain with people to find out, how much they would buy for our trash, and then give it to them for free, in case they were interested. But now it was serious: we really need money!

Djeme helped us to get in contact with people who might be interested in some of the tools we brought to give away to metalworkers, and some of the better trash donated by friends.

After hours of sitting and bargaining, a group of people came to our Steyr, and Stefan and Manuel started to sell: Eur 1,- for a big CD-presentation plastic, the young entrepreneur was very happy. Mini disc player, Computer, Monitor went quickly. People became greedy and wanted everything they saw – my photo camera, Stefan´s video cam, our clothes… At the end of the day we made almost Eur 200,- altogether - we will make it to Burkina Faso.

At sunset we decided to make a Chrismas card picture and send it to the world.