Sunday, August 12, 2007

I Arrive in the Land Where Civilization Began and Finally Start to Get My Tan Back

I apologize now for these posts. I have a feeling they are going to be rambling and disjointed. Now, you may be wondering how this is different from any of my previous posts. I don't have a good answer for you. But, as I sit here, I'm realizing that my pictures and my notes and my thoughts are all over the place. So, I'll take a stab at capturing a bit of my trip so far and I'll thank you again, as always, for taking the time to read a bit about it.
Upon arriving to Bamako, my friend Heather (, who is a Peace Corps volunteer, met me at the airport. We spent the next day in Bamako, and then travelled to Segou where we spent a couple of days and then moved on to Sevare for a night. And then on to her village, which is called Mandoli and is near a town named Bandiagara.
Mali is beautiful and the people have been incredibly welcoming, friendly and gracious. Mali is also very, very hot. I mean almost Cincinnati hot.
Here are some photos of the trip to her village.

This is Segou. And, gives a pretty good idea of what a larger town in Mali looks like. Except, in your imagination, you should probably add a bunch of motor scooters, some donkeys and a goat or two. Actually, maybe this isn't a good representation of a Malian town.

This is the Niger River. As you can see, some people like to fish on it. I prefer to drink a beer next to it. To each their own.

These vases were beatiful. Unfortunately, my shopping advisors were not around to help me pick one out. Cherlyn, Errica, Court, Cathy, Theresa, Carey - we're going to have to come back here so I can get a vase.

This from the window of the bus on the way to Sevare. The bus was incredibly hot, as no public transport has air conditioning. People were sitting everywhere including in the aisles. The driver was blasting music and I was kind of tired. But, the view made me forget everything. It looked like a beautiful, constantly changing picture. Or, like a really cool screensaver.

While in Segou, we visited a craftsman co-op. Here, artisans are making traditional Dogon cloths. The dye is actually made by boiling the bark of a tree and the ink they are using is a special kind of mud found by the Niger.

It’s rainy season here. Which wreaks some serious havoc. Two main roads have been washed out. And, even regular roads have some pretty impassible puddles.

While in Segou, we went out to listen to some music. It was really great. One, because the music and instruments were so fun and interesting (they have a xylophone that is made out of gourds) and two, because it was so similar to going out in an Irish pub.
It was the same feeling in a completely different setting.

The bus station in Segou. If you’re wondering, the chickens tied by their feet to the handlebars of that motorcycle were still alive. And not very happy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

eff the vase. if you would have bought one, it would be in shards by the time you got home... whenever that may be.

actually, you'd probably preserve it for the entire trip, then, when you were back at CVG, you'd drop it as you were getting into the car.

Either way, who needs it.