Blogs from Bamako, District of Bamako, Mali, Africa - page 5


Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako February 26th 2007

Since I got my assignment in Burkina last Friday, I spent Monday and Tuesday in Bamako trying to get medical clearance to transfer. I had to get a physical, some shots, a dental checkup, and lab work to test me for everything under the sun. Being one of thirty or so volunteers doing all of this through one doctor, I spent most of my time waiting around. The dental cleaning was a particularly interesting experience. We were referred to a Lebanese dentist working in Bamako, who was surprised to see ten of us arrive at his office needing checkups immediately. He seemed a little frazzled, overwhelmed, and he said he’d be with us as soon as he could. In the meantime we sat in the waiting room reading old issues of French Cosmo and admiring ... read more

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako February 25th 2007

I was finally able to upload a few url= ! Sadly I did not take enough of my village (pulling out a camera draws way too much attention, and I thought I'd have lots of time) But enjoy what's there and let me know if you have trouble viewing them. ... read more

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako February 23rd 2007

Burkina! Tough call between there and Lesotho, and mostly it came down to the fact that I had to just pick one. In Burkina I can continue to learn French and the teaching will be similar to what I did in Guinea, therefore my training is more applicable there. Also in the southern hemisphere (Lesotho) the school year has just started. Since I need to be home my the summer of '08, I'd have to either leave in the middle of the school year or come home a few months early with nothing to do. Being in Burkina also means being close to Guinea, and if the program were to reopen there perhaps I could help out with training new volunteers or at least visit. Yet my research on Lesotho piqued my interest...I'll just have to ... read more

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako February 23rd 2007

So after waiting a painfully long time, I am very happy to have three transfer options! They are teaching positions in Burkina the Gambia in West Africa and in Lesotho in South Africa. I have very little time to make a decision and not much specific information about the assignments. So I did my best to research each place and to talk to people who had served there. Here are some of the details on each. (Info courtesy of the BBC, UNAIDS,, my friends, and my friends’ friends.) Burkina Faso: Full name: Burkina Faso Population: 12.8 million (via UN, 2006) Capital: Ouagadougou Area: 274,200 sq km (105,870 sq miles) Language: French (official), 50 Sudanic languages (90%) Religion: animist 40%, Sunni Muslim 50%, Christian (mainly Roman Catholic) 10% Life expectancy: 47 years (men), 48 years (women) ... read more

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako February 19th 2007

It's been about a week and a half since we found out that we cannot go back to Guinea, and since then it's been chaos trying to process all of us going home or transferring. I applied for transfers and temporary assignments, but there really was not much available. I'm hoping to find out by Wednesday. In the meantime I've been trying to find things to do so I don't go crazy. One day a lady who's husband works for the Embassy had us over to watch the Grammys. They lived in a beautiful house with a pool and made us great food, drinks, and desserts. I had real coffee for the first time in seven months and I can't stop thinking about it. Another day I took a bike ride with Geoffrey and Curtis. We ... read more

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako January 30th 2007

For the last few days we’ve been staying at the Tubaniso Training Center, outside of Bamako. PC Mali has done a great job taking care of us. A banner at the entrance to the compound reads “Welome Peace Corps Guinea” and we’re being treated as if we’re on a paid vacation. We’re staying in mud huts, but they’re rigged up with lights and ceiling fans, making them very comfortable. A kitchen staff works all day to prepare great meals for us. They’ve set up a store where we can get basic supplies and cold sodas. If you need anything they don’t have, the shopkeeper will run into town and get it for you. There is a small library, a few computers, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and mountain biking. The PC bus is acting as a shuttle ... read more

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako December 21st 2006

Hola! perdonadme por tardar tanto en actualizar el blog pero pasado marruecos todo es mas dificil... ultimamente me he juntado con un ingles, una pareja de australianos y un austriaco que van por la misma ruta asi que los mas escepticos pueden estar tranquilos por mi seguridad...cuando nos juntemos todos en Lome vamos a ser un ejercito! Desde el sur del moro estoy con dereck. 49 palos, dos anios y medio en la carretera y lo que te rondare morena. todo un personaje... la vida es mas facil acompaniado, uno cocina otro friega, uno sobre la moto el otro empuja, uno tiene diarrea el otro un esguince. nos complementamos. despues de cruzar el desierto hasta nouakchott empezaba lo bueno. La zona del Adrar en Mauritania es la unica atraccion al uso de este pais. Esta habitada ... read more

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako December 18th 2006

Well I'm guessing this will be the last update before Christmas. I can't belive it's less than a week away. Here I am in the heat and the sun, with the bustling market stalls piled high with watermelons, and suddenly we see a man selling inflatable santas! It's the first festive sign I've seen in Africa, a far cry from Southampton shops playing jingle bells and the lights going up in October! I guess it's just another indication that we've moved south, crossed the border into Mali and left the influence of the Arab north increasingly behind us. The change is unbelievable, and I'm already loving the look of Mali. Everyone is unbelievably friendly, waving and calling out bonjour as we pass through scattered villages of round mud huts. All the stereotyped images of Africa are ... read more
Pushing the boat out
My 'Oxfam' photo!

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako August 14th 2006

As I wrap up my two month stint in Mali, I thought I would fill you in on some of the little escapades I have taken around this country of sand and grass. Because the rains mostly cooperated with us, we finished our work a bit ahead of schedule. Consequently I have had some time to do a bit of this country with a surprising amount of things to see. As the title implies, I did not, unfortunately, make it to Timbuktu, the ancient center of trade and learning on the edge of the Sahara. Nor did I go to Mali's second most famous attraction: Dogon Country. The DOgon people have developed a complex cosmology and built their dwellings ... read more

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako July 28th 2006

Heya everyone! Sorry I've been so long between blogs lately. Bamako has tired me right out and I haven't made the time to blog. Shame on me. Anyway, there's lots to tell so get comfy and read all about it! So after my arrival in Bamako last Saturday I got to do a little tourism with my faithful driver, Yacouba, and explore a bit of Bamako and the surrounding hills. I think I've mentioned before how much I love the scenery here, but the pics say it all. On Monday I started my course on promotion of hygiene and sanitation in local communities and it has been going super. The facilitators leading the course have so much expertise and energy, and the group is fantastic too. Very funny and relaxed people who also really enjoy what ... read more
Bamako city 2
Snappy dressers
School 1

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