We finished our sejour with a trip to an island in the middle of the Niger. It was just what the doctor ordered – cool, serene, and beautiful. Apparently Salif Keita composed one of his albums on the island. It makes sense. The place was tranquil, yet it could also exude creative energy – filled with interestingly shaped trees and quiet spots for reflection – I loved it. I hung out in the shade for a bit, watching others play on the strand and climb trees before I joined them to wade in the water. This was done with somewhat of a guilty conscience as I was forewarned not to touch the water if I wanted to avoid parasites. But the water was deliciously cool and Cherif gave it a green light, so hopefully I won’t become deathly ill and my mom will not have to say “I told you so.”
The week here has been full, but pretty uneventful. We leave for the Grand Voyage tomorrow – a prospect I both look forward too, and dread. It’s a testament to my happiness here that I get so reluctant to leave Bamako, but I feel like I’ve finally found my stride. I talk to people on the street, all my haunts are full of people who know my name, and I’m comfortable with my house and family. I’ll miss them in the 10 days when I’m away. Fasirima (one of my tea buddies) reassured me that I’d be missed, and gave me a hug last night and my host mom seemed sad that I’d be gone for so long. It warmed my heart. The bad news is, I will probably not have Internet for the next 10 days and will have to try to keep up with writing posts so I don’t fall horribly behind when I get back. But you’ll forgive me if I do…won’t you?
Hope your weeks are full and enjoyable!
Until next time!