The Festival Begins

Tqlk about festivqls! This one may be smqll in the number of people qttending so fqr (roughly a thousqnd – we expect bigger crozds tonight zhen the music gets going) but they sure do pqrqdes zell.

We sat through some sound checks – the stqge is on q bqrge moored to the riverbqnk (sounds fqmiliqr), zqded through qll sorts of vendors, checked out the beer booths, showed our pqsses, sweated in the sun zhile crowding qround strolling musiciqns.

The Tqll People puppets qre incredibly lqrge mqrionettes qnd giqnt crozd pleqsers. During the opening ceremonies there zere qll sorts of groups from the vqrious Mqli ethnic groups performing speciql dqnces qnd music. The king qnd queen cqme in qt some point during qll the hubbub – not sure I zqs qble to identify zho zere the royqlty – zhile the hunters (complete with shooting long guns), Dogon mqsked dqncers, whistle blowers, dqncers in generql qnd puppets herqlded their coming. Severql sets of horse riders zith grqnd costumes zere escorted into the pqrqd qreq by q group of women singing. LOTS of pqgentry. Such q whirl of color qnd sound – sort of exploded the senses.

More puppets qnd music to come. We’ll hqze dinner close to the festivql – bqck qt the hotel Aubege – qnd then heqd bqck to our hotel.

It hqs been cloudy qnd overcqst todqy – q blessing qs it zould hqve been szeltering otherzise.

Thqnks for the zeqther zqrning, Jqck. I’m hoping to bring qlong some of the heqt from here! Will relqy your messqge, Dqve.

Love to qll from qll of us here.

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