Thursday, 21 May 2009

Mali - no commitment

As part of our trip to West Africa, we wanted to visit Mali. One of the cultural highlights was to be one of the regular Friday evening performances of Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra. They never perform outside Mali, but the idea is that they perform every Friday night at Hogan's Club in Bamako. I wanted to see them, but the Friday after our Ghana Seminar, it turned out that Toumani was not sure if he would even be in Mali, because he was due to play in the USA a few days afterwards, and his secretary felt he might want to travel early. Just in case, we rearranged our schedule so that we could catch him the Friday before Ghana, but Sam was in touch with the secretary trying to get confirmation that Toumani would be playing for sure. But they could not commit. Eventually, she forward the e-mail to Toumani himself, asking him if he could be sure of performing that night. We scheduled our flights and hotels, only to find it really difficult to get to Mali from anywhere other than Paris, but we were willing to spend the time travelling on badly times flights, adding four days to our trip. Then Air Burkina decided to cancel the Saturday flight, so we would now have to add five days to our trip for this possible performance. Then the hotels could not be sure they had any rooms. In the end I realised that commitment was not something that happened in Mali, and that the whole excursion was just too tenuous to be committing time and money. So with much reluctance and regret, we have cancelled the Mali leg of the journey, saving ourselves buckets of money, days of travelling and inevitable disappointment. Maybe Mali might get its act together sometime in the future?

No comments:

Search This Blog

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom

Total Pageviews