Blogs from Mali, Africa

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Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako April 1st 2012

Blog About Malaria Month 2012 Over half of a million people died from malaria last year. This is more people than in the average American city. Imagine the entire city of Atlanta being wiped off the map. The year before, we lost Denver. The year before that, all of Boston, all gone, in one fell swoop. The majority of these deaths took place in Africa. In fact there are six countries that account for over 60% of worldwide malaria deaths: Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, the DRC, Nigeria, Mozambique, and … Mali. Malaria has been around for centuries. King Tut likely died of malaria in 1332 B.C. This makes it seem like fighting malaria is a lost cause. It’s been around since forever and it’ll be around forever. But this isn’t true. Malaria is on the decline. ... read more
Manic Mande Malaria Bike Tour

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako February 13th 2012

I really want to video everything when I walk around to help explain to people what life is like here, but I don't really feel comfortable doing that. I was able to more or less steathily record this street scene from my apartment window. It's a pretty boring video of the street below, and actually one of the quieter and calmer moments. If you have anything that you want me to get on camera here, let me know!... read more

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako January 30th 2012

Every morning I walk a little over a mile (~2 km) to work. Between dodging traffic, stopping to greet people, and picking up some breakfast along the way this can take me almost 30 minutes. This combined with the walk home in the afternoon is by far the most stressful part of my day. It can at times be the most fulfilling, but this morning was not one of those experiences. Today as I was walking it was impossible to ignore the rancid smell that filled the portion of my walk that takes me along a paved road. There is normally a mix of smells in the air, and admittedly most of them are unpleasant: burning trash, exhaust from all the vehicles, and occasionally urine and feces. I’ve become more or less accustomed to all of ... read more
For the Portuguese

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako November 24th 2011

Thanksgiving is my friend Raven's favorite holiday. Aside from the insane amount of food involved, I never really understood why. This year however, I realized that Thanksgiving is an important time, and not just because of the desserts. Thanksgiving is where this all started. It is where everything changed. In 2007, my entire family got together outside of Elkhart, Indiana in a place called South Fork to celebrate Thanksgiving. A few days before my pending departure to Guinea, the day served also a going away party (there were posters with elephants on them that said, "Good luck in Africa, Samantha!") and a pre-mature birthday celebration (birthday cake and pumpkin pie, really what more can you ask for?) A lot has changed since then. One year later I was in the West African capital city of Conakry ... read more
Thanksgiving 2011

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako October 18th 2011

After two years, I've come back to West Africa. The first two weeks in Senegal were surreal. I just dived back into life African Peace Corps lifestyle as if I had never left. My French luckily reappeared. But within 24 hours there were people testing my Pular as well. This proved to be a bit more challenging to recall. But I was never fabulous at Pular, so it was really as if nothing had changed. It was as if the last two years of my life hadn't happened at all. No year in Boston, no MBA from Portugal. This was very bittersweet. There was a a degree of relief: I knew how to do things already and I could easily slide in the flow of life here. But there was also a sense of regression: if ... read more
The Peuhls and their Cows

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Africa » Mali » North-West » Timbuktu September 13th 2011

"Jak chcecie to plyncie sobie statkiem, bedziecie siedziec na ziemi w wodzie a ludzie beda po was lazic,ale mozecie plynac piekna Pinasa -wygodnie, w nielicznym towarzystwie" itd. Mowili nam bardzo nachalni przewodnicy w Mopti. W rezultacie Pinasa to mala lodeczka z towarem, pomiedzy ktorym sie lokujesz, ku uciesze naganiaczy,za co kasuja od20 do 35tys frankow od osoby (1E=650f) Statek to trzy pietrowy promik z tarasem, gdzie spokojnie mozna rozlozyc sobie np.namiot a bilet kosztuje 5tys frankow na glowe.Na pokladzie sa prysznice,bary z normalnymi cenami i muzyka. I pinasa i statkiem plynie sie do Timbuktu ok czterdziestu godzin. Pinasy plywaja codzien, statek np teraz pod koniec pory deszczowej raz w tygodniu z Mopti w Czwartek, w porze suchej nie plywa. Na promie swietnie,- dobra okazja by poznac miejscowych. W zasadzie tylko my bylismy bialasami, jak to ... read more
Dogonka
przystanki w mijanych wioskach to okazja do wymiany towarow
zycie na promie

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako September 4th 2011

Wyjezdzamy z Bamako rozklekotanym ledwo zyjacym autobusem w strone Segou.Wbrew pozorom to nie pojscie na latwizne ale wielkie wyzwanie. W porze odjazdu autobusu jego naprawa trwala w najlepsze, kiedy wreszcie ustalono tankowanie i odjazd myslelismy ze szturm ludzi jednak zniweczy mozliwosc odjazdu i zniszczy "pojazd". Na kazdym improwizowanym postoju ludzie proponujacy towary wszelakie ( od manioku przez wode w workach,kukurydze itp) w liczbie kilkukrotnie przekraczajacej liczbe podrozujacych usilowali znalesc sie wewnatrz autokaru w tej samej chwili,podczas gdy pasazerowie za wszelka cene usilowali sie z niego wydostac ,by sie przewietrzyc. Gdy kierowca ruszal czesc ludzi odpadajac od wejscia torowala droge tym ktorzy dobiegali by jeszcze dosiasc do jadacego autobusu. WIdoki tez fajne na mijane wioski. Z Segou zabiera nas pan dyrektor ds melioracji i gospodarki wodnej ktory studio... read more
tubab zrob nam foto!
Niger w Bamako
wszystkie dziewczynki maja misternie zaplecione warkoczyki

Africa » Mali July 8th 2011

FACES OF MALI...THE WOMEN Early start...leaving Djenne...pass the Mud Mosque...gleaming like fresh caramel in the early light...Hey the square in front is clear...no sign of Monday's market. "Can we stop please so I take one last photo of the Mosque?" "No time...sorry...we have to line up for the ferry to cross the river...no time...we must get there early." Zig-zagging through the dog-leg streets...leaving this mud town island of my dreams..."Wish we could have stopped at the Mosque...I'll never get another chance" I thought, twisting my lips in regret... But...shortly after...I was laughing "I'm glad we didn't stop to photograph the Mosque...otherwise we would have missed our fun at the ferry"....! Over a narrow bridge...parting the surge of people and animals heading to town...the town is behind us... smiling wi... read more
TWO STUNNERS...Old Segou
DJENNE...JENNY
VILLAGE GIRL...Inland Delta

Africa » Mali June 25th 2011

FACES OF MALI...THE MEN "The most handsome peoples in the World...genetically... come from that strip across Africa between latitude 10 degrees North & latitude 20 degrees North...and the best proportioned people in the World are actually the Dogon people in Mali"... considering the eminence of my advisor...interesting claims indeed!!! We are on a plane from Addis Ababa to Bamako...on my LHS on the aisle is a Senegalese man in a business suit reading a book about "The Consequences of the World Financial Crisis on World Economies"..."rivetting reading" I thought...so I had to ask... He was an economist advising African Governments and economic commitees...the book...a somewhat critical issue in Africa at the time... So we chatted about all sorts of critical African issues...what countries were doing well...those that were not...why had I seen so much... read more
EYES WIDE SHUT
HAMMA
THE EYE OF THE DOGON

Africa » Mali » North-West » Timbuktu June 13th 2011

AU REVOIR MALI...TIMBUKTU TO BAMAKO Last night in Timbuktu...last G & T before dinner...vodka...ah I've got two cans of Tonic I bought in Mopti when we loaded up for our pinasse "up the Niger in a leaky boat" to Timbuktu...hey this tonic water is dark brown...tastes erkk..yuk...what... its vitamin tonic..."Bottoms up...salut!" Leave for dinner...waiting for our lift...a young lad no older than 10 entertained us "I am little Tuareg... little Price"...he said as he unrolled a handkerchief and laid out his wares...charming the ladies as only a young Cassanova from Timbuktu can...so I sat back and watched him weave his Tuareg magic with the ladies (and the men)... "I have made an offer...you must make an offer to me...you have to make 3 offers"..."But I do not want to"..."You have to...I am little Tuareg, little Price...what ... read more
CROSSING THE NIGER
PIRROGUE
VALLEY OF THE MONOLITHS




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