martedì 24 gennaio 2012

Chasing the Malian Embassy

This morning we got up early in order to get the Visa of Mali since we thought that Guinea Bissau requires lot of time to vsit the Bijagos islands whereas we have good contacts in Bamako and in another village.We got off the taxi and immediately started our search realizig mmediately that it woud have not been an easy task. Almost everyone seemed to know more or less where te embassy was: go there, ask here, go near the Sierra Leone embassy, enter that palace, look up searching Malian fag.... and many more suggestions that adter & hur gave not result. Finally an old alian man dropped in a garage where there was a bus servce to Mali, he explained that there was no more embassy in Banjul and that he was doing a kind of walking Consulate service, collecting passports to give to the embassador coming from Dakar twice a week from Dakar, obviously we decided to get my passport stamped in Dakar or directly on the border. At 11 Lamin gave us a lift to the Sept Place garage and fro tere we got in 45min at te border with Senegal. Everyting was fine but almost everyone on the car started to pray his God asking to protect us.... we were entering a very tough zone of Casamance guerrilla zone, we all knew of it. Despite it took us more tan 2 hours to do the 90km until Ziguinchor, we got there shattered but safe. We had to drop off the car, show our passport and eventually pen our bag not less than 6 or 7 times, not to talk of the many garrisons, checkpoints and trenchs on the route. This is not just because of Casamance insugency t also because we were in a very strategic position with weapons and drug illecit traffic entering Senegal through the narcostate Guinea Bissau. However the landscape was great, lot of lakes and huge rivers, many mangrove plantations, everywhere a lush green and a fresh air. Ziguinchor revealed to be a pleasant, quiet, inexpensive and friendly town and as a prize for the tiring trip, last night we had the inspiration to go to the Alliance Franco-Senegalaise that organized a marvellous concert called Berimbaobab. As you can imagine it was a "melange" of Brazilian (especially from Joao Pessoa and Maranhao regions) and African music and cultures, a return the Brazilan origins of the slaves coming from Africa, a wonderful mix of dances, percussions, sweet guitar Bossa Nova style and trumpets and Djembe. The rythm was so powerful that finally even the old African guardian, even the students come there climbed the stage and started to dance wildely, such a great night. Africa I a loving you.

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