We were enjoying the daily frog and cricket concert in the courtyard yesterday evening, Malian tea on the charcoal stove almost ready, when Amadou’s phone rings once. ‘That’s strange, Dolo never beeps me’, he says, looking puzzled and decides that in this special occasion he really needs to spend phone credit on returning the call.
Amadou’s eyes nearly pop out of his head when talking to Dolo, and even before he’s finished the call he has leapt from his chair. ‘Monique, I’ll take your bicycle, there are two Dutch women in town, who want to stay here with you! You need to make the beds’, he calls out before closing the gate behind him.
A bit surprised by all that’s happened in less than one minute, I too rise from my chair. Okay, there’s two of them, they might like to have their own rooms, so I better make the beds in two rooms, I think and start gathering sheets, pillow covers and towels, feeling quite happy that we did a big house cleaning in the morning.
In no hurry I make the beds. Thoughts come and go and I wonder who they are, those two women, arriving in the late evening of an April day, wanting to stay here. Maybe they’ve met someone who was here before? Or they’ve found the website on the internet? I’m looking forward to meeting them to find out. But why, did Amadou have to come to town? Dolo knows my place well, he could easily have taken them here by taxi…
Just about when I’m ready to start the work in the second room, my phone rings. Gasping for breath Amadou brings out ‘Monique, it’s not true, it’s not true…’ In the background I here several people laughing.
‘Oh, I guess it’s April Fool’s day today, isn’t it?’, it dawns upon me and I feel a smile surfacing. Poor Amadou, he raced into town in a record breaking time, feeling quite annoyed with his friends who were almost rolling on the floor, having so much fun seeing his face.
‘Monique, my muscles really hurt, I have never before covered the road into town in so little time…’ he tells me when we are back to drinking tea a bit later on. And then finally also Amadou starts laughing and sharing the stories of the jokes they played on other friends.
So, yes, the rooms are clean and tidy and the beds are made, ready for real guests to arrive 🙂