Archive for December, 2011
It’s been a good – and busy – year, with plenty of travelling! Here are fourteen highlights from the year – just click on the titles below to see the posts:
(i) Rob does research in Bozo country (including a 19 hour trip on the Niger river, on the roof of a boat which broke down four times in the middle of the night).
(xv) Conducting “Handel’s Messiah” in Bamako Cathedral (December). No post, but here’s a picture for you:
Well, belated Merry Christmas to all my readers and all the best for 2012!
My kitchen looks like this:
I recently painted the cupboards red and white, ready for Christmas (and because they were dark brown and dreary before that). Bit different from your average Western kitchen I guess, but also very different from the average African one too!
Weevils in our flour:
It’s a big problem in Africa, and you can really taste it in any cake, cookie or pizza made with weevil-infested four! I’m pretty sure that ingesting a few of the wee beasties (especially when cooked) would not be harmful, but it’s a bit disgusting! Look again at the picture and you can see the larve too, which were wriggling around in the flour when I took the picture!
If you have a good sieve, you can probably get rid of them, but the taste is likely to remain. Best way is to find a supplier who’s flour doesn’t usually have weevils in. There you go!
Most of Africa is plagued with slow, smokey, dodgy-looking lorries, crawling up hills and (sometimes) falling off them! However, one positive side is the many artistic designs you see on their backs or mudflaps:
You’ll notice that the top right lorry has a painting of the Tour d’Afrique – for some reason a very common choice here!) Now, as an ethnomusicology consultant and arts worker, I’m always on the lookout for new artistic expressions (like the bogolon cloth or pottery videos already blogged about). So it’s great to see this artwork, which has nothing but a purely aesthetic purpose! Another common sight is proverbs and other sayings on the back of lorries (watch this space…)
The local dustman with his donkey-drawn dustcart, collecting our rubbish:
He comes about three times a week, rain or shine (more of the latter, of course) and does a great job for just 2000cfa a month (or about £2.80, but with lots of houses, I guess the money adds up). Our previous guy had a tractor, but then it broke down for several weeks. So in some ways, a donkey is better!