as i am.

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

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Onions and Small Friendships Make the Best Birthdays

Posted on by chrissy

My twenty eighth birthday came and went with perfectly manufactured fanfare. My first two birthdays in Mali had been spent at the Peace Corps training center, neither of them under the most optimal of circumstances. I was a little nervous … Continue reading

Baniofla and Her Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Introduction to a Toubab

Posted on by chrissy

Poor Baniofla. In all of her two and a half years, she had seen nothing so scary as a slight woman covered completely in light pinkish skin. And it was to her misfortune that such a woman arrived and insisted … Continue reading

Tea and Traditions, Among Other Things

Posted on by chrissy

My first weeks in village contained a lot of tea. I didn’t mind so much, because adjusting to village and my new diet of millet and more millet was a lot easier with caffeine. I was still a novelty, so … Continue reading

Where the Path Widens and Other Explanations

Posted on by chrissy

The patchwork of compounds in my crescent shaped village were divided into six neighborhoods, the western-most of which was mine. Belakuna was its name, though I’d still never gotten the story behind it. Belakuna was dissected by a path, which … Continue reading

The Long Awaited Return

Posted on by chrissy

I’ve heard it said you can never go home again. I’ve always thought this to be true. Until now. I sat in my courtyard under my newly built gwa, shielded from the midday sun. One by one, the important men … Continue reading

Going Home

Posted on by chrissy

My bus from Bamako barreled past all the familiar, forgotten places. Fana, Segou, Bla, Yangasso. The road to Dieli. Diabougou. I made my way to the front as we started up the hill and announced my upcoming descent, much to … Continue reading

In Transit

Posted on by chrissy

The passengers stood waiting in the yellow-tinged darkness of too-early morning. Children slumped at their feet on top of bags and boxes and other children, and a stillness pervaded them, the kind only found in these early morning hours. Soon, … Continue reading

Let Me Set the Scene

Posted on by chrissy

Let me set the scene. There’s a place on the road to San where just the trace of a path crosses the hot asphalt. If you blink, or day dream, or glance at your phone, you would certainly miss it. … Continue reading

Where to begin?

Posted on by chrissy

Where to begin? I’ve wondered a million times how to start a story from the middle, and I feel no closer to an answer than when I started. It’s a puzzling place for a storyteller to be. So much has … Continue reading


Ramadan ended with a feast, one of the two biggest holidays in Mali. Excitement flourished in the days leading up to the feast. Preparations were made; new clothes were purchased at market; meals were planned. The feast was called Seli … Continue reading

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  • About Me:

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

  • Address in Mali:

    Christina Scheller
    B.P. 02
    San, Mali

    Click here for tips and information on sending letters and packages.

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    July 2024
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  • What I’m Reading

    King Leopold's Ghost - Adam Hochschild
  • What I’ve Read

    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