Blogs from Bamako, District of Bamako, Mali, Africa


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

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako January 1st 2011

Firstly Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. We have not been in Mali for about 11 days - hard to keep up with the days and date....but we have power this am and hopefully internet later today so I will start at the beginning. We arrived in Bamako (capital of Mali) on 22nd December minus our luggage. The flights from Bangkok to Addis and then to Bamako made it a very long day - about 16 hours in the air, plus down time at airports and we lost about 11 hours in actual time. Thankfully we had a 20 hour stop over in Bangkok to catch up on some sleep otherwise I don't think I could have handled the lost luggage thing as well. I was only one of about 50 people who didn't ... read more
Bamako airport
local bus bamako
street scene bamako

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako December 20th 2010

We crossed into Mali at the Senegal border town of Kadira and first up had another three nights of bushcamps. The Boabab trees seem to be everywhere now, they’re such awesome looking trees! We stopped near a whole group of towering Boabab’s for lunch just after crossing through the border. However, a policeman from the border who had asked (and been refused) bribes from us drove up on his motorbike and decided to throw his weight around and tell us we couldn’t stop on this (albeit public) land. On we moved to the other side of a guard post... approximately 1km down the road..... which turned out to be outside of his ‘jurisdiction’ and therefore we could resume lunch without interruption :-). That day we stopped at Keyes, reputed to be the ‘hottest town in Africa’ ... read more
Us with Sheepy at a Malian village
Towering Baobabs
Bunny with the village children

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako June 11th 2010

I Have Moved - 4 Years On - And a Totally New Challenge So much has happened since I started this blog - and looking back over four years I am a little sad that I didn't keep up with my blog writing. Since those last entries from 2006 - I got married, continued to travel the World, moved through a couple of different jobs, saw the wonderful boom times of Dubai and then the dreadful 'crash'. I hope to cover all of those highlights in some detail over the next few months on my new Blog ( - but for now I just wanted all of my subscribers and followers to know that I am still alive and well! And that I have decided to start writing again. A few months ago I found myself ... read more
Baobab Tree
Me and Sira
Lots of Laughter

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako November 1st 2009

Geo: 12.65, -7.99After a long, sleep-deprived journey to get to West Africa, Bamako hits us like a ton of bricks right in the customs and luggage area. I assume that the scene that played out would be akin to an announcement of the pending end-of-the-world in most places. People running and pushing in all direction, someone in a white lab coat demanding to see our Yellow Fever vaccination but losing interest the minute he sees a yellow piece of paper coming out of my pocket, line-ups forming and dissolving just as quickly, policemen threatening to club some of the people pushing to get in from the reception area…. After a half-hearted attempt to fill out a form that was in French only, the Customs officer didn't even look at it, stamped the passports with enthusiasm, and ... read more
Street Scene
Watermelon Salesmen
Maximizing Vehicle Capacity

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako October 26th 2009

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 ... read more
Bamako Airport

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