'Evacuation' sounds a lot cooler than it is.


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Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako
October 26th 2009
Published: January 25th 2010
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How we get into the city ...How we get into the city ...How we get into the city ...

There are over 90 of us here. It's okay though cause if PC/Guinea is good at anything, it's good at making room for everyone.
The following are exerts of emails that I sent out during my time in Mali.

October 9, 2009
"Ok, so here's the deal. Yesterday I left Guinea. We can't say we were evacuated, but that's what happened. I'm currently just outside of Bamako. I'll be here for 2-4 weeks. It doesn't look like we'll be allowed to go back to Guinea. But there's no final word yet.

You may be seeing me really soon. I don't know what to do. There are some people applying for transfers, but they're all for a minimum of a year. Morocco is out of the question. (They said no.) Transfering seems really daunting, but so does the US."

"So, Peace Corps Guinea was evacuated yesterday. I'm in Bamako, Mali now. If we aren't allowed to go back to Guinea, I might be able to come to Morocco for a little bit. A lot of the volunteers here want to go, and there are a couple that want me to take them around."

October 10, 2009:
"It's a little warm here. There are 93 of us. Everyone's in various states of shock, relief, happiness, depression, etc. Lots of
RefugeesRefugeesRefugees

Yes, we're stranded, but can't really complain. This was taken outside the American Club that let us use their pool, movie room, etc. for free.
fun. I have to figure out where I want to be living next month ... a little daunting.

But yeah, I'm here at the Malian training center. There's internet and good food so I can't really complain. Sorry if I seem a little bummed, I'm just sort of going through the motions at this point. I'm hoping I get some energy and motivation back when they finally admit that we've been officially evacuated.

On verra."

October 13, 2009:
"We still don't know much about how much longer we'll be here. Maybe 2-3 weeks. Maybe less depending on how things go. All is well here though. They're really taking care of us. We're all just running around trying to get everything taken care of before we potential take off.

Besides that, looking for jobs, trying to decide where I want to live, if I'm going to travel, all of that. Good times."

October 14, 2009:
"Last week our program got evacuated to Bamako, Mali. Even though Peace Corps is supposedly apolitical, it seems to have been a decision from the State Department to encourage President Dadis to not seek candidacy in the upcoming elections. At this
Bamako AirportBamako AirportBamako Airport

.... and I'm out.
point it's uncertain whether we'll be able to return to Guinea. However, the criteria for being allowed to go back is "a peaceful transition of power" within 30 days. I'm pretty sure there's not much hope of that.

Mali is a nice change from Guinea. There's hope here, and a desire to make things better. I guess that's what a semi-stable government does for development."

October 19, 2009:
"Well we got final word today that the Peace Corps Guinea program is suspended. That being said, they also told us not to tell anyone until tomorrow, so don't publish that anywhere (not sure who would really care).

Anyway, what does this mean?

This Sunday, October 25, I will (hopefully) be discharged from Peace Corps. There's some problems with the school project that might delay this ... I have to get all the receipts from the project to Conakry, and they're all in my village. And I have to do it from here. Getting them should be an interesting challenge to say the least.

If that all goes well, Sunday or Monday I'll be heading to Morocco for a little bit with one of my friends here. We'll travel around there for a couple days and eventually take the ferry over to Spain. There we're gonna meet up with one of her friends in Madrid for awhile. She wants to also go over to Portugal for a little bit. After that we'd most likely head back to Madrid and fly out from there.

Fly to where? I might go back to Indiana to get my clothes and whatnot (all I have is 4 "African outfits" with me). From there, I'm heading towards Boston/New York, to sleep on various couches, eat lots of food, and work on figuring out life.

Okay got to go to session, send more updates later,"

October 26, 2009:
"Tonight around 3 AM, I'm getting on a Royal Air Maroc flight from Bamako to Madrid with a connection in Casablanca. We're doing our trip in reverse because it was about $800 cheaper to fly to Spain than
to Morocco.

My friend Brienne is planning the trip for me and she says, "About 5 days in Madrid, 5 days in and around Lisbon (Portugal), 2-3 in Granada, and then we'll go to Morocco around November 12." We're not sure how long we'll be in morocco. Sort of depends on our energy level. We're sort of already drained because of all the goodbyes, the evacuation, leaving West Africa, the continued violence in Guinea, etc. etc. etc. So if we're not feeling up to it, we might cut our trip short.

Hope all is well,
~Sam"

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