Quiet and safe camping in the west of Mali
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March 2014 (English)

March was dominated by preparations for my “vacation” to the Netherlands . Of course, there were also other developments . The problem with the mayor and the land ( see previous months ) festered. Could not give back the piece of land and my plan to swap it with another encountered greed . The man asked 6x the normal price . Well , I did not really need to sell it , he mentioned , but if I can get a lot of money we can do business . Yeah, right, but not with me . So just left it and did nothing. If the mayor wants to solve his problem, let him do it. I am done

The two guest houses

The two guest houses

Went to visit the French who created kind of a hippie camp about 15 km from here. They were not there all year round, only for a few months. They had lots of plans to create a library for the kids, do something with a school and so on. But in the years that they have been there they had created nothing. There were some African round huts on their property but they were all damaged or badly maintained.
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Their plot of (rented) land was right next to a village and it was busy with locals walking in and out . Cosy, yes, but very busy. There were also two large vans with French youngsters who were visiting . Every single one Rastafari . One had 8 dogs with him in his van.
They had organized a big party that day with TamTam and singing . Fun .

The construction of a water reservoir started . It had come to my attention that maybe they would close the water for maintenance, perhaps in April. They had no idea whether it is for one, two or three days, so I had to take precautionary measures . No water is disastrous . Thus commissioned the construction of a reservoir of 4 cubic meters to have water for a few days . The creator did this with ordinary bricks. He had experience with it , so was confident . Had the tank constructed at the highest point of my land to get some pressure in the pipes.
First the constructed the floor with concrete, then they build the walls with cement and stone and stucco finish . Connecting the water and voliá, a water tank. Haha , not really, this is Africa. After I had filled the tank with a little water, it was leaking on all sides. So called the constructor who returned next day to fix the problem. Turned on the tap a few days later and let the tank fill up . Meanwhile, walked away to see if I had a little pressure on the pipes . Walked towards the main valve to close it and when I was 20 meter away heard a big bang. Turned around and saw my brand new reservoir exploding. The bricks could not take the water pressure. I could start all over again.

Swimming in the river

Swimming in the river

Had two Dutch guests most of the month. Ola and Geert, two bikers on the way to south Africa. They were quit people and really only had contact with them when they were sick. First Geert fell ill and after two days I took him to the hospital. With the right medicines he improved quickly but when he felt better, Ola fell ill with the same symptoms.

A few days before my departure to Bamako a buyer for the land appeared. This is the problem land, the one with the mayor problem. The guy paid half of the price and promised to pay the rest when I returned from Holland.

Had some maintenance done on my car. The only mechanic in the neighbourhood took care of my car. New piston rings (the whole engine had to be taken apart) , leaf spring rubbers , shock absorbers , diesel injectors , head gasket , etc. Every time I thought it was finished but the mechanic managed to find something else that was broken or needed replacing. In the end, it costed me a lot of money but I should be able to drive again safely for a few years..
The garden for the women of Dialakoto , that I have built with the financial help of friends and acquaintances is going well . The women are busy and here and there have already harvested . I drive past it every day and always I see people at work, weeding and watering . Had to intervene when I saw that women were doing the dishes in the garden. In the village itself there is no running water , and then a tap with running water is very tempting.

Garden for the women of dialakoto

Garden for the women of dialakoto

Furthermore, all of March remained cool at night , which was very nice . In early March we ven had the coldest night of the year with 12.9 degrees. No mosquitoes , actually not too many bugs at all . Many trees have sprouted and give shadow again , so the big tree next to my house .
Placed reeds on my roof against the heat , which works pretty well. When I close all the windows during the day, can keep it pretty cool in the house. In the night open everything , during the days close it all. It remains around thirty degrees in the house.

Halfway through the month, the water supply company came with a strange request . The old director had retired, from januari first we had a fresh director.
The old director had approved all connections (including mine and those of the garden for the women of Dialakoto ) without ever having given any written permissions. So in order to get a picture of who and how many connections there were, he requested all to ask for connections in written form. I found it strange and suspected a turd under the grass. The turd appears next month 😉
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Furthermore, all quite. Organising my trip to Europe took time. Planned to buy some additional solar panels and a freezer. That would make my life a lot easier. Having a freezer would mean I would not have to go to the market every day for bread, and I would be able to keep some meals in the freezer for when tourists arrive. Spaghetti sauce and a curry sauce or so.
In April I am visiting my family in Holland so I will not write much that month. But, shall not leave you all alone, so I will be back with my April story, no worry

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