the Mosque of Djenne

Students of the Koran

DJENNEx xx Debbie and I were off to Djenne for the day but it was a slow go. Once arriving at the parking station (11:30 A.M.), we learned the trucks were no longer going to Djenne. Well, two guys from Holland and a couple from Reunion joined us to rent a cab. Just outside of Djenne, as our car tried to leave the ferry, it wouldn't start. Men tried to push start it but as soon as it hit the water, they stopped. The tourists had to pull the car out of the water. The driver shut the car door on my hand. It cut my knuckles but didn't break anything. Whew!

The "two hour" ride eventually got us to Djenne at 3:00 P.M.. We didn't get done with SMERT (the national tourism agency) until 4:00 P.M. We were required to have a guide. The guide was nice and did come in useful because at sunset he lead us to the top of some roofs to see the sun go down over the mosque. Of course, he also took us to meet all of his friends -- friends who just happened to be local souvenir merchants.

The market was the most colorful I'd ever seen. It was also the most unique place I'd visited while in Mali. So Arab! The mosque was huge and so beautifully made. There were women with black lips, nose rings, and huge earrings. I could have taken a zillion pictures. There was even a camel that rode into the market!

Copyright 2000 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.