as i am.

"…but soil is a refuge for dispersed seeds."


The Interim

Posted on by chrissy

After leaving S New, we spent a week and a half at Tubani So. Initially we had some final sessions in health, safety and security, administrative issues, etc. I spent my birthday in class in the morning, then passed my language test in the afternoon. One of the trainers, Holly, cut all my hair off for my birthday. It is now shorter than my fingers. It’s been a strange adjustment, especially considering there are not many mirrors in Mali, so I don’t see my new haircut very often. I don’t know if I’llĀ keep it long term, but I’m very glad I cut it when I did. I’ve always wondered what I would look like with short hair, and now I know. Also, it’s a LOT cooler (temperature-wise) to have short hair when it’s 105+ degrees out.

Right after my hair was cut, the wind started to pick up and thick clouds rolled in. Shortly thereafter, lightening and thunder started, and for my birthday, Mali gave me our first legitimate Malian rainstorm. It was fun while it lasted, especially since it cooled the air off quite a bit, although the resulting mud was not nearly as much fun. Regardless, I had a wonderful first Malian birthday. At dinner, we even got cake from the kitchen staff…life was good.

By Friday, our sessions were pretty much finished, and almost all of our belongings had to be packed up and loaded onto big trucks to be delivered to our regional stage houses. Friday night we enjoyed our own talents in a spectacular talent show, and Saturday we had our dinner thanking our homestay families. I was very excited to see my mom, and rushed out to greet her when I heard our village had arrived. As I walked up to the tables where our families sat, she was not with the other women from our village. I looked around, and at the table full of men from our village, spotted my host dad. I was not particularly fond of him, and was quite disappointed to see him at Tubani So instead of my mom (the greatest woman in Mali).

As I approached, he got up and shook my hand, and told me, quite sincerely, that Mariam had very much wanted to come, but there had been another death in the family and she had to stay home and cook for everyone. He told me he wanted someone from the family to come for my dinner, so he came instead. I was frustrated by the situation, but happy to know he hadn’t just simply overruled her decision to come in his own want of a free dinner. The night was awkward for me, but it was awkward for everyone due to a lack of language skills to hold three hours worth of Bambara conversation. This just means that I have unfinished business in S New, and will have to return to see my mom (and everyone else) again.

Sunday was pretty much a free day, and we were able to go into Bamako for some American food and a trip to the big market. Monday many current volunteers came into Bamako to celebrate our [impending] swear in with a day at the American club eating cheeseburgers and lounging in the pool, followed by a night of dancing and fun. The next evening was our swear in ceremony.


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  • About Me:

    I am a Peace Corps Volunteer working in Mali for two years promoting sustainable agriculture and environment development.

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    Christina Scheller
    B.P. 02
    San, Mali

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    King Leopold's Ghost - Adam Hochschild
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    High Tide in Tucsan - Barbara Kingsolver All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren Half the Sky - Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn Prodigal Summer - Barbara Kingsolver Dirt: The Erosion of Civilization - David R. Montgomery Everything is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee The Education of Little Tree - Forrest Carter The Rodale Book of Composting Team of Rivals - Doris Kearns Goodwin The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling The Lacuna - Barbara Kingsolver The History of the House of Representatives - Robert Remini East of Eden - John Steinbeck Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin The Imperial Cruise - James Bradley