Live from Bamako

First post from Bamako, WOOT WOOT??

I am really pushing myself to writing here, despite the fact that I am so tired… So here is how it will go for today: I will just make a list of random thoughts because I am too sleepy to make these thoughts coordinate. Also, let it be said, I am writing on a European-style keyboard that I do not quite master.

Here goes:

1- the call to prayer is on and I am sitting in an internet cafe near where i am staying

2- I have been tired and with a ,igraine every day since I got in Bamako because I have insomnia at night

3- Mali is HOT and I have seen nothing yet. While I put a second coat of deodorant on, Malian wear hats because it is their winter. It is about 35 celcius degrees out on a normal winter day here

4- Bamako is the dirtiest city I have ever ever ever ever seen. I cannot BEGIN to explain here how dirty and polluted this city is. I do not want to say bad things about my new country because I have been really happy here so far, but let’s just say that I have seen things I didn’t even think possible in terms of poor hygiene (and trust me I’m far from a snob when it comes to that stuff)

5- La journee du bonjour would have been useless here because EVERYONE says hi to each other on the street and people are SO SO nice. So far, I’d say it’s the strenght of Mali; its people.

6- Malian women are GORGEOUS… really.

7- I’m Muslim and even I don’t understand why there’s like 42 calls to prayer a day here. It’s hardcore but I like it.

8- Begging children (especially talibés) break my heart. I don’t know what I can do because as opposed to what they think, the fact that I’m toubabou (white) does not give me infinite money to give away.

9- I live in a nun shelter for now with the rest of my group but we leave tomorrow for a village to experience rural life for 3 days. After that, I will move in my actual house (which is HUUUUGE).  I have a big room, two balconies, a REAL BATHROOM (thank you God, I couldn’t take 4 more months of this squatting) and a huge family that lives downstairs.

10- In the time I have written this, there were seriously 5 calls to prayer. In 20 minutes. I seriously do NOT understand. But I’m not complaining: I feel like God’s chatting me up 24/7: I feel safe.

11- Malians talk slowly, eat slowly, walk slowly. But they drive FAAAASTTT. Holiness. I feel like my life is at risk every time I cross the street, but a secret part of me loves this. Living dangerously.

12- Another call to prayer just now.

13- Want to know what I DON’T like?? MOSQUITOES! I have come to see them as flying malaria and I am obsessed with not getting stung!!! I take my malaria pills every day but I still hate the beasts. Maybe Mali would have less mosquitoes if Bamako didn’t have open sewage all over the sidewalks! I feel like it’s an open buffet for those little beasts… that and rats. They just loooove garbage juice.

14- I have been eating lots of Malian food, it is GOOD.

15- My body does not appreciate freezing, cold showers, so I try to find other ways to wash myself (thanks Yury for the wipes!!!)

16- Malians love to joke around!! I never feel awkward around them, which is awesome.

17- When I went to the mqrket, I met a musician who agreed to give me Jembe lessons. I’m so excited! He’s married to a Quebecer woman. It seems like every other Malian man is married to a Quebecer woman. Well, I’m only half-quebecer, so sorry, not for me! Plus I’m already very in love and I miss my man back in Florida. I wish he was here.

18- I’m starting to get the hang of Malian money but it’s hard, especially if you suck at math like I do.

19- Making friends is so easy here! I love Malians.

20- What more could I say… I went to the Canadian embassy today and a huge MANGO tree was in the backyard! Out of a 2-hour meeting with important diplomats receiving information about international aid and bilateral projects, what do I take away from my morning?? THE CANADIAN EMBASSY IN MALI HAS A MANGO TREE IN ITS BACKYARD.

21- Insomnia is rich; it bought itself a ticket to follow me all the way here in West Africa. UGH!

Good night!!

 

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~ by seaofcurls on January 14, 2011.

2 Responses to “Live from Bamako”

  1. Haha that’s great 🙂 sounds amazing. your man misses you too!
    Take pictures! I saw your roommate’s on facebook, they looked awesome. Specially loved the one with Obama and the america shirt on the one guy lol! Good luck!

  2. Wow! Je suis contente que tu t’y plaises!
    Un manguier! Trop cool! Je comprends que ça t’aie marquée!

    Profite-s’en au maximum et n’oublie surtout pas de nous donner des nouvelles régulièrement!

    Je t’envoie des ondes positives à l’instant pour que tu puisses dormir. six heures de décalage comme en Europe j’imagine?

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