Officially hit the 2 week anniversary of our trip to Mali. Can hardly believe the time has passed so fast. I have spent the time busily employed in learning the language. The greetings form an essential part of the language as each conversation starts with the greetings.I try to teach the kids the few bambara words that I know. Carmen pushes back harder and will only say the words if she feels it will benefit her somehow. So I have had to get her into situations where she would need to say thank you (iniche) to get something back or say stop (adabla) to her brother when he teases her. Keanen with best intentions wants to learn but cannot seem to focus. Learning seems to tire him. I have been working with him on his alphabets and bambara words. Today we practiced numbers and played hide and seek with his Bambara numbers: kelen, fila, saaba, naani, duuru, wooro, wolonfla, segi, konontan, tan.
I had my first Bambara lesson today. I had gone to visit Bourama’s family. He is also trying to teach me some Bambara. It was extremely hot today, an indication during this time of the rain to come. Bourama( Bei for short), taught me a few phrases. Keanen is starting to warm up and actually went of and played with his cousins Noro and Boi. He had such fun going crazy and running after the chickens. He was not prepared that in Mali, the chicken sometimes run after you. It was hilarious to see him come hide behind my chair as the chickens came by. Courage short lived. The heat put Carmen to sleep and as she slept, I attempted to learn some Bambara phrases. The rain moved in quickly. It still amazes me how in Mali, the storm almost announces itself with gloomy dust filled skies and winds that pick up in strength before the rain barrels down. Rain is “san-ji” in Bambara. The rain comes with a vengeance and the wind shows no mercy. Dianna and I returned to the house with the kids as the rain poured down. After letting Carmen watch a DVD and Keanen take his turn at a nap, I asked Dianna to teach me some Bambara. We learned words about money and time. I roleplayed how to shop with her. I am glad for the friendship and the lesson. I need to practice now. I will try to study hard tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is market day in Ouelessebougou. I am excited. I want to get some fabric and get some lighter material shirts sown to combat the humid heat.
Yeah had a busy day as well. The meetings are continuous. He has had a conference on decentralization for the last few days. The conference provided an ideal opportunity for Yeah to network with mayors that lived in the more remote regions. The campaign continues to move in the right direction. It is essential that the word spreads. Next week, Yeah will be constantly campaigning in neighbouring villages. He announced to his staff at the Mayor’s office that he is officially running. They are very supportive and seemed genuinely surprised and touched that Yeah would personally ley them know.
Life goes on slowly but surely. Time will tell its outcome and I hope victory is in the future.