A day of visits and then the storm

20 Jun

Today was a late start to the day. However the jet lag really seems to have gotten me and the kids. We went to bed at 1 am the previous day. We all went to visit two families within Yeah’s humongous family. First his uncle and then his third mom who had just lost her son. As we were visiting these families the kids had an opportunity to see a lot of animals. Their excitement knew no bounds as they saw a donkey and then a chicken. Carmen kept calling the chicken a duck. The kids love seeing the animals. From a distance that is. The one thing they do not enjoy is the immense number of bugs. You would think these kids haven’t seen flies before. The first day at a restaurant in Bamako, they had a freak attack and Carmen using her “extremely loud voice” would point out every fly that she saw. Trust me they were over 50 so you can picture that scene. In the villages, the number of bugs multiply by 100. The first night Keanen and Carm pretended they were bug fighters. It was fun to see Keanen lead the chase and Carm imitate every single action. She is his little shadow.

After the visits, we came home to lunch and then Yeah headed out to the main city Bamako for multiple meetings. The gusto with which he has had meetings is crazy. The people here are excited and Yeah in turn is trying to drum up support among fellow mayors. Yesterday was a good day with Yeah getting the endorsement of a mayor of a huge city that has a number of connections.

I also got the opportunity to speak with my mom. It was good to hear a familiar voice in a foreign country, especially one that holds a language barrier and a cultural difference. It has been interesting to see the number of things that we took for granted in the US. For example, in the US, you can just go to your tap and drink the water. Here you drink the water and you could end up with some serious diarrhea, Here we get bottled water. The kids have been drinking it like crazy especially Carmen. It is very hot right now and Carmen seems to be sweating from places I did not know were possible, But they are healthy.

As night approached, it definitely cooled down. But with it came a major storm. The storm was extremely loud. It sounded like God rearranging a lot of furniture. At least that’s what I told Keanen. He thought I was crazy. The kids were extremely afraid. We are not used to a thunderstorm of this magnitude. Then came the winds and the lights went out. This only freaked the kids even more. Initially we got a torch and did some shadow puppets. That kept the kids entertained until the thunder started getting louder. Keanen told me he wanted his “mayor dad” to come home so that he could be safe again. The storm calmed about 11pm. That seemed to be a queue for the bugs to escape the weather and come into the house. This night was a late one as well and it was lights out at 1am.


Posted by on June 20, 2011 in Past Posts


2 responses to “A day of visits and then the storm

  1. James A

    June 21, 2011 at 18:26

    How fun is this? I hope we get to see a little stormage when we come. I would love to experience a good Malian storm. Not sure about the bugs though. That will take a little getting used to. I am glad to hear that you have arrived safely. What are your thoughts about the house and your setup there? Have you ventured outside much yet?

    • Marissa Coutinho-Samake

      June 21, 2011 at 23:43

      James so good to hear from you :). You should come from June to August for a good storm. The bugs are crazy though. There are so many different kinds that you don’t know which ones to kill and which to just let house is great. We have been blessed with two things that many Malians don’t have: electricity for ac/fan/lights and a steady building. With the rains here I wonder how many Malians withstand the storms. Yeah has made sure we are taken care of. Haven’t gone out much. Today was the first day we went out with the kids. Keanen thought we were on a safari..:)


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