The past few days have actually become easier. I think we are starting to slowly settle in. I am gaining more confidence in my greetings in Bambara. Keanen is starting to want to learn more, especially so he can converse with other kids. He has impressed me the most and gives me the courage everyday to try harder. When we go to Bei’s house now he leaves to go play with the other kids. Carmen too has ventured out even though she still will not shake anyones hand. I too have ventured a little and have started visiting Bei more. He and Dianna try to help me learn Bambara. I wish I could just put a book under my pillow and next day be fluent. However progress is good.
Today we had an opportunity to also celebrate the American independance day in Bamako at the American club. The kids had a blast. They had a playground with slides and swings. Keanen even learned how to swing by himself without needing someone to push him. Carmen was so happy. Humming to herself. There was a turtle( a huge one!!). The kids had a blast petting him. Keanen had not seen a mass of white people for two weeks and even asked me if we were still in Mali.
In the theme of progress it is also good to see progress in Ouelessebougou. The people here have been blessed with a solar panel field, making Ouelessebougou the greenest city in Mali. Much of the village electricty comes from this project. Also Ouelessebougou has been able to get running water. There are 130 pumps in the village. Unfortunately, 70 of the pumps stopped working. Yeah was able to work with his French counterpart in Pontivy to get some funding to fix the pumps. 40 have been fixed and the remaining will be fixed as well. The work is being done by a Malian company. Glad to see money being pumped into the economy. Also I was excited to see the new high school that is being built in Ouelessebougou. Today there is no official high school in the city. It will be an amazing opportunity for Malian children in Ouelessebougou to have an opportunity to attend high school instead of having to travel an hour away to Bamako. Another great thing to see was a new hospital being built as well. This will allow access to healthcare for all Malians. No longer will women have to travel miles to a hospital when she is in the middle of labor.Sometimes the woman will deliver on the side of the road increasing infant and woman mortality. Great progess in this village of 12000 people and great amenities to have for the 55000 people in the surrounding villages. Today in the village there was a massive celebration of woman. It celebrated the important role of the woman in Ouelessebougou. The role of the woman is massive in Malian society. They are constantly in service to the community around them. It is important to celebrate their progression. It was a great event!!
Progress has showed its face in every facet of our journey lately. I am excited to see what happens next!!
July 5, 2011 at 19:29
Wow, both a hospital and a high school. Whether Yeah makes the presidency or not, he is going to bring Ouellessebougou to the forefront of the Mali’s progress. He is showing himself to be a REAL leader, not just one in word only. I am honored to be “family” of sorts.
July 5, 2011 at 19:29
oh, yes, and I LOVE the pictures, both of family and the progress being made in Mali. I actually feel a part of this somehow.
July 8, 2011 at 23:03
James, you are family. You and your wonderful family has taught us how to give without expecting much. Thank you for being a great example to us. Love you guys and miss yall.