The kids have been enjoying each other tremendously. Yes, they have those days when I am surprised that Carmen still has hair left and that Keanen hasn’t pulled it all out in frustration. Most days they get along. These past weeks, a friendship has grown. Their days are occupied with Keanen learning his alphabet, numbers and how to spell and Carmen pretending she’s a cook, mom, etc. They still talk a lot about their friends. Miles and Quinn are a topic of conversation at least once a day. They continue to want to watch the TV in French even though they can still not understand a word. Keanen has made a fast friend in Numa, our 15-year old guard, who takes care of our place while school is out. When Numa left for the weekend or his family’s farm, Keanen was heartbroken and counting the days till he returned. The shifting weather from great heat to full rain makes it impossible for the kids to play outside. From what I hear, August will be a month of continuous rain. So much for sunny skies!!
This week, Carmen had her hair done. You would think that Fatim (Yeah’s niece) was strangling the girl from the blood curdling screams that ensued as the hair was being tied. A normally 30 minute process became an hour long initiation. When all is said and done Carmen returns to her normal happy-for-a-moment self.
Yeah also attended, as part of his mayoral duties, the planting of new trees to further move along Ouelessebougou’s position as the greenest city in Mali. This is an essential thing for Ouelessebougou. Trees will assist in improving the environment in Ouelessebougou, not only making it healthier but also more pleasing to look at. Yeah continues to press Ouelessebougou into the spotlight. Despite his many other roles, he tries to focus on how to better his own commune as he has promised to do as a mayor. Ouelessebougou is starting to enjoy a new found wealth and success and has come far from the village I was in 4 years ago.
We also had the opportunity to visit the market in Bamako. Haggling with the sellers, I must confess, is amusing and thrilling. Got some great buys. Rule of thumb to those coming: Whatever price they quote you start at 1/3 of that price and then bargain up. If they refuse, just walk away. Trust me you will usually always win. 🙂