Blogs from Bamako, District of Bamako, Mali, Africa - page 3


Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako November 9th 2008

Well, it’s been far too long since my last entry, and I’m afraid that this one will inadequately capture the past couple of weeks, but here goes… Considering that the days run together so much for me here, of course the big event of the past couple of weeks was the election. We went with a couple of friends to a bar near the Peace Corps (PC) office in a part of town heavily frequented by toubabs (European and American foreigners). We got there around 8 o’clock our time (3pm EST) and settled in for the long night. The bar was packed full of PC volunteers, and we actually met a few from NC. However, we mostly stuck with the couple of friends that we came with (the PC volunteers were unexpectedly rowdy). I won’t go ... read more

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako October 21st 2008

It’s been over a week since my last entry, so I know I have some catching up to do. I believe that I had left off just before last weekend (although I haven’t gotten used to the passage of time here, so it’s hard for me to actually remember). In any case, our big event last weekend was the Saturday game between Mali and Tchad. The big stadium was way across town (there’s a smaller one much closer to our house), and our plan was to take a couple of sotromas (small green buses) to get there, but just before we were to leave we heard that things would be hectic there, so Canadian Ak, Nora settled for a taxi. Before we left, we went to meet Jeremy, a former schoolteacher in New York who is ... read more
Canadian Ak
Soccer match
Clever disguise

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako October 9th 2008

In the days since my last post, I am glad to report that things have progressed quite rapidly (as far as my research and connections go). Instead of jumping straight to that, though, I’ll try to describe the past week’s events in somewhat of a chronological order. On Thursday, we discovered the disappointing news that we would not be able to travel to Casablanca in December. Although we do have plane tickets going there on December 10, the returning tickets, which we don't have, would cost us each about $650, and we just could not justify spending that much. It didn't help that to get to the airline office we had to walk about a mile in the blazing heat through crowded market streets. The only saving grace of that day was that we had a ... read more
Schoolchildren in Bamko

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako October 2nd 2008

It’s hard to believe, but we’ve been in our house for nearly two weeks now. Now that we have a toilet seat (key!) we are in pretty good shape. Nora just started at Save the Children yesterday, so I’m adjusting to being on my own during the day. Unfortunately, some of the few friends that we made here are not too reliable about coming over to visit in spite of their persistent texting, so my plot to pester them with questions about wording my Bamana questionnaires has yet to bear fruit. Consequently, I’ve been dragging a chair outside of our gate to sit with the collective of mostly young kids, adolescents, and “guardians” who linger outside of our entryway day in and day out. Just being there I’m at least able to gain some exposure to ... read more

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako October 1st 2008

Mali, the land of Gold and now the land of music. The time I spent in Mali was very short about two weeks, but I saw a lot and managed to relax very well in a few places. I spent a nice 5 days in Bamako, the capital, a very messy but lively busness, went to a cool night club, very local, lets say. Another highlight was cruising up the Niger River for 3 days on our way back from Timbucktoo!!! a great place to have managed to get to, and YES it was still hard to get to and an unforgetable ordeal even in 2008!!! so Believe the rumors. je je. Though I had minor stomach complaints on the Niger river, we had a private cruise on Pinasse, a local for of wide canoe type ... read more
Crossing over to Djenne; one of inhabited towns in West Africa.

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako August 4th 2008

Im stuck in bamako with a horrible etye infection asking myself why did I put my contacts on with such dirty fingers, I had it coming... btw that I consider rather funny that after a month drinking tap water, from deposits, and from wells that looked fairly dirty, after one month of walking with tshirts under the sun of africa, one month taking the crazy lariam, one month eating with my hands food touched by random peoples hands, one month eating street food covered with flies that looked fairly scary and buying fruits in in the market, one month underfed, one mlonth not using antimosquitoes in africa, one month (I have to confess) using water instead of toilet paper, well, my only health probmem is not diarrea,, vomits, parasites, sunburn, paranoia, skins infection, malaria, cholera, hep ... read more
me in yaganyae roof
african seagulls
bus station

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako January 16th 2008

Hi Folks, What Kevin forgot to mention last night is that I am being treated for Malaria and not dying, really! Thanks for all the love and support. I generally feel a bit better in the morning, and I think maybe the drugs are working (fingers crossed) so I'm up now writing in a slightly dizzy going-back-to-bed-soon state. Kevin and others here at the Djembe Hotel are taking fabulous care of me. Despite fraility of body, the trip up to the desert and back was an incredible experience. The Tuereg people are so so beautiful, in dress, in music, in culture. The highlight of the festival really was watching small circles of traditional Tuereg music and dance while the sun set over the sand dunes, it literally brings tears to my eyes to think about how ... read more
Nous aimons les chamuex
Our tent
Kevin and Jack....Nomads...

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako January 6th 2008

We have had an amzing past couple of days. Thanks to Jeremy and Sega, we have had a fantastic journey to Sega's village 3 hours NW of Bamako. Yesterday morning we loaded up our gear into a minibus, drums, back backs etcs and went off for an adventure...which started with drumming the whole way there! As we passed villages and roadside communities, we drummed and danced and sang the whole way, invoking waves, smiles and dances! We bought muffins, peanuts, yogurt, and drinks from folks along the road, tried not to step on the chickens that we were bringing, nestled on the floors, and watched the landscape of mali unfold. I learned how charcoal is made and papayas ripen from my friend Fadou, cushioned little Abdulayi as he slept, and observed termite mounds and bricks drying ... read more

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako January 4th 2008

The last few days here have been busy busy fun. Jack and Sharon are here with us now, settling in to African life. Its great to see them and to share this experience with them! Yesterday we went to see the National Ballet practice, awesome dancers and drummers! They gave us our own little show, very cool. We came back to Jeremy's compound for lunch and a short rest. After a break, I had a really fun dance class. I'm starting to catch on to things a bit more quickly. Issa is an excellent teacher, very patient and playful. Jack and Sharon joined in at the end and we had a little dance jam out as the drummers started flexing thier muscles. After dance class, Kevin had assembled a group of killer drummers for a little ... read more

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako January 2nd 2008

January 2nd--here in Bamako, playing drums everyday, learning a lot, classes in the morning and afternoon and into the night, hanging out with great teachers at the Djembe Hotel. Jeremy and Tewa have been great hosts helping us absorb the often overwhelming atmosphere of Africa. The internet has been down for a few days. We're mostly hanging out at their home; adventures outside require effort and planning. Today Kara's going to the market and I'm going to go watch a djembe ballet perform in town. We're looking forward to seeing Jack and Sharon arrive tonight. It's hard to plan everything for our journey to Timbucktu--we're trying to arrange a car and driver, etc. Sometimes it sounds like a tourist trap, but we still want to get out and see more of Mali, hoping it will all ... read more
Wedding on Dec 30

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