Monday, August 29, 2011

Meeting a piece of Mali

He stood up and walked to the front of the house when he saw us coming across the field. That was when he knew we were visiting him.

Ça va?
Bien, merci.

I realised I forgot to imagine how his voice would sound, and that I never had been nervous. All the time I knew he would be in the country I knew I had to meet him, and so we stood before him.

We looked each other in the eyes and there was absolutely nothing strange. two different cultures, different colours, different languages.
we must have made a different impression that the other guests, as the translator didn't step forward.

We agreed on speaking french, as far as we could, and maybe add a few words of english. he thanked me in my own language and we all smiled.

He invited us in the house.
Standing away from the other people we explained why we wanted to meet him and he understood and was delighted. It was like meeting someone I had known for all my life and he felt the same towards us.

He wanted to take a photo and for the first time in ages I looked nice on a photo.
We exchanged adresses, telephone numbers and he didn't stop telling us we were welcome to visit him in Mali and we should do so.
His smile was warm, and his hands were cold.
What can you expect from an african in europe, he joked.

When we left we knew we had made a friend and we felt inspired and rich and somewhat strange because he had been so familiar to our feelings.
Such a famous man, who has travelled all over the world who took the time to meet us with his heart and to whom we will be forever connected.



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