Sunday, 29 September 2013

Visitors from Timbuktu

They're here, having finally got their visas, and yesterday there was a party at the Castle to welcome them. There was lots of information from Hay2Timbuktu about what is going on in the city and the links between Hay and Timbuktu, including a mention of the motorbike ambulance that Medics4Timbuktu raised money for, and the Girls in Schools project, which encourages girls to stay in education - some of our visitors are teachers.
The Fairtrade group was there, and so was Chris from Haymakers, with some of the silver jewellery that they sell for the Tuareg silversmiths. There was a string trio at one end of the room, too (though I did hear comments from some people who weren't sure whether they were tuning up or actually playing a piece!).
This morning, the visitors were walking the Timbuktu trail around town, which links a building in Hay with one in Timbuktu - so it goes by the Council offices, and the Medical centre, and also the Cinema Bookshop, where the link is manuscripts and books. Timbuktu has a great wealth of medieval manuscripts. Although some of them were sadly lost in the recent occupation of the city by rebels who did not see the value of the manuscripts, many more were hidden by local people.

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