Wednesday, February 8, 2012

{ I niche Mali! }

"I niche" means "thank you" in Bambara.
I niche for reading my blog!

A few more updates...goodness! I have been so busy - I wish you could all experience everything. This is one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had (I think I say that a lot). I am so incredibly blessed to be here and to work with Team Samake on a daily basis :)

Here are a few random updates and photos from life the last week here in Mali.

Me, Marissa, and Kyle went to an Ethiopian restaurant in Bamako - it was quite enjoyable! Much different than I expected but very yummy.
My ethiopian food. 
Zhu, our main driver :)
Walking down the neighborhood streets - I walk past here nearly everyday.
We got some cheeseburgers in Bamako! Pretty yummy - we'll definitely survive here until May :)
The packed streets of Bamako by the markets.
Some of my favorite people - Dra and Carmen :) She's a spitfire! But too adorable.  
Markets in central Bamako - crazier than India!!! To put it simply.

What a better way to use the banks of the Niger River than with gardens? 
Roadside fruit stands. 
These are called Sotramas or Bachets - they're buses - they don't have any particular route, they just have people jump in, pay a very minimal amount, and kind of take people around as they call out? I'll have to have that experience before I leave.
"ALLAHKABO" or "God is great" with the initials of the Sotrama driver - "BK"...haha 
We got ice cream! Nevermind that Kyle looks like he's part of the Mafia...
"Don't do a funny face!"
It was a nice ice cream shoppe - now we know we can definitely survive in Mali - burgers and ice cream! haha
Roadside work boys ready to help move stuff.
I love Mali - it's beautiful!

Village markets.
 Mom, don't look at this next picture.

This is Mari, our cute cook, dividing up the beef to freeze...lots of meat out in the open air here!  
Where I buy my fruit :) I haven't had a bad one yet - my apples and oranges are delectable!
This is the view from our roof. Everyday, I watch/hear the family next door wake up early early (like 5 am), make food, clean up, dig some trenches, do some laundry, make more food, etc. They're working all day. I bet they've never heard the saying "work before play" but maybe "work before soccer"...they love their soccer! 
This last Friday, there was a Muslim festival and they celebrated "Milad un nabi" or the birthday of the Prophet Muhammed. All night, I heard the speaker of a man talking to people and chanting and singing and celebrating. The people came in hoards, dressed in their religious attire, carrying chairs on their head and children everywhere to sit for hours to celebrate the birth of their beloved prophet - it was quite the sight to see!

Then Sunday evening, Mali was in the African Soccer Cup quarter finals. The game was Mali vs. Gabon. It was 3-3 and they were in overtime. Everyone was running through the streets. Mali won in the final shootout - incredible! People were going CRAZY - horns honking, people jumping up and down! I have never seen that much excitement :) When I was in Paris in 2010 and watched one of the World Soccer Cup games in front of the Eiffel Tower, the people were pretty mellow in comparison. This was something else! Mali is now in the Semi-finals. I can't wait for the next game!!! I will be sad when the African cup is over.

Meanwhile, there have been some strikes in Northern Bamako based off of what is going on with the North of Mali (a little ways away from where I am living - don't worry!). It has made things more interesting. To read more about the strikes, read this article in the NYT.

Saturday night, we went out for some pizza here in Bamako and it was so yummy! It was at the cutest little restaurant. Who knew you could get good pizza in Africa? ;) It felt like home!

Yesterday, we went to the market and to a huge rally out in the village - about an hour and a half away. It was incredible to feel the enthusiasm these people had for an incredible leader like Yeah Samake. He brings hope to the people. Courage. Please show your support and donate to our campaign at - $10 can make all the difference - share it with your friends!

I love Mali and it is quickly beginning to feel more and more like home.

1 comment: