This past week has been calm and Bamako continues to remain quiet after the drama of a few weeks back. The President continues to remain MIA while the Prime Minister continues to try to assert his presence. He does seem to have a lot of opposition from many bigger political parties. The reason is probably because his cabinet that he has picked does not include any political players from these parties. The North remains heavy on many Malians minds. More and more reports are emerging about the rebel players in the North and there seems to be a uncertainty about how the government will be handling the rebel groups. The government has not displayed a straightforward plan despite the talk of the PM that Mali would not give away the land in the North.
Most expat hang outs remain deserted which confirms the belief that many foreigners have indeed left the country. This will have some serious impacts on the economy as many workers/vendors find themselves without the more well off expats.
On the home front, things are well. The kids continue to get used to the changing weather. It has indeed become very hot and despite the increase in the summer showers, the heat is never far off. Electricity remains as iffy as ever with power shortages frequent and long. Just last week we spent two nights without electricity. Kean is doing wonderful in school and I am so proud of him. To help with the challenge of the language we have hired a tutor to help Keanen and me learn French. I wish I had the brain of a child. I can tell you Keanen is making leaps and bounds in French. He continuously surprises me when he chatters to his friend or teacher in French. I have no idea why the French cannot stick in my head. You would think it would be easier given that I know other languages. But no, it continues to remain foreign to me. The local language Bambara is much easier to pick up and something I can comfortably get by in. Hopefully, the tutor will be able to drill the French in.
Yeah continues to be busy as ever as Mayor, Director and PACP leader. This past week, there was an inauguration ceremony by the Mayor’s office to donate a hearse to the Ouelessebougou cemetery. As black as this sounds, this will allow the transportation of bodies in a dignified manner. Ouelessebougou is fast becoming a modern city already boasting amenities like running water, electricity and its own bus facilities.
Party activities continue on a weekly basis as well. Despite the political dilemma Mali finds itself in, PACP membership grows. Their main support comes from the youth and also from individuals like Yeah that are foreign educated and have returned home to Mali. Last week, there was a donation of rice to the residents of Ouelessebougou that were going through difficult times.
In addition, Yeah continues to work at his foundation MRF. There are two more schools planned for this year. Mali’s education system is struggling at the secondary and higher levels. These schools provide opportunities in villages where children might otherwise not be able to go to school. Just this past week, MRF was honored at The Week of the Students of Social Work in Bamako on June 7th, 2012. The event was held at the Institut National de Formation des Travailleurs Sociaux ( School of Social Work). The theme of the 8th edition of this event was on the humanitarian accomplishments and the guest of honor was the MRF. Yeah, as director, gave a presentation to introduce these students of social work to the importance of activities of a non profit in the field in Mali and encouraged them to work with organizations like this that impact the grassroots level and have the Government’s support. This event, which got media attention in Mali, highlights MRF’s growing importance in the educational and humanitarian arena as well as its visibility in Mali.
All in all a quiet week and an even quieter weekend. Can’t complain about that can we