I spent the past 12 days in my homestay village where I lived with a family while learning Bambara and getting culturally integrated. At first it was kind of shocking just getting dropped off in this village in Mali but after the initial shock I got comfortable with my new life pretty quickly. I spend a lot of time just greeting people. Also, drinking tea is a huge part of life here so I usually stop and partake whenever possible. We have language classes in the mornings and sometimes in the afternoon. I also usually take bucket baths 2x a day. The food here has been surprisingly good. The Peace Corps gives the families money to make sure that we get fed well so I’ve been eating a lot of pasta, potatoes, cucumber salad, and pommes frites. Every morning I wake up with a loaf of french bread with peanut butter, eggs, and coffee. It helps me wake up. So life goes on. I’m hoping that my Bambara gets decent by the end of the month. It’s going pretty well so far.
One thing i’m afraid of is how I’ll be able to adjust to life at my site. I’m in a small village right now and have done a pretty good job of getting integrated but if i go to a larger town it will be a completely different feel. On top of that I’m supposed to have running water and electricity which I don’t have here.
I’ve done a pretty good job of trying to keep healthy but being here in Mali has just run me down physically. Blame it on the heat, the constant sweating, the mephloquine, whatever. I’m just exhausted nowadays. My iPod earphones crapped out on me already. Someone please send me a pair of apple in-ear headphones asap. k thx. If you want to call me on my cell phone dial 011 to dial out then my number is (223)-7845-5478. FYI I am four hours ahead on GMT (General Malian Time).
Song of the moment: Right Round by Flo Rida
Bambara phrase of the day: i ni bara – good work