Hi all! Hope everything is going smoothly back in the states! Mali so far has been great, the people are incredibly generous and their hospitality leaves nothing wanting. I’m currently living with a host family in the village Soundougouba Koro right outside of Bamako, the capital city in the far southern region of Mali. Which means a little less desert, and MORE mango trees–there are literally orchards/ more like forests of Mango trees around my village (I got pretty lucky as far as village locale)! I’m in the training segment of the peace corps, so intensive language learning all day, every day. But it makes it worth while having such long classes underneath the shade of a mango tree. They ripen in a couple weeks and I can’t wait–picking some mango’s in the middle of class! 🙂 And yes, I am very excited fior mango’s mainly due to the fact that my diet has consisted of potatoes, pasta, and rice, with maybe a veggie here and there. Absolutetly no fruit in this starch heavy diet…no fruit yet at least. Soon, very soon! Life in the village is easy going, everybody greets you in the morning, afternoon, evening, and night with a variety of greetings and then blessings as you part ways, the kids in the village don’t let you carry anything as hard as you try to do it yourself, and my host family in particular is incredibly generous and hospitable for the severe economic pressures clearly evident in the family and in the rest of the village. Cement is a rarity, most of the houses being made out of mud bricks. Electricity is pratically non existent–and running water is–yet randomly somebody will start up a t.v. powered by a car battery (somehow) and watch a soccer game, Brazilian soap operas dubbed in French or a french dubbed Kung fu movie of which all are steadily growing on me–nothing like an epic Kung Fu fight in French…. The lack of technological infrastructure in the village is further juxtaposed by the fact that everybody has a cell phone and has downloaded songs and music videos. It makes for a very interesting dynamic for village life. Altogether tho, life is going well. My host family I am already severely indebted too as their hospitality–as is the case with the majority of Mali–is very very generous and welcoming.

I’ll update more soon tho! Hope all is well–let me know what all y’all have been up too now, you hear! (As our language teachers for Bambara are teaching us Bamabra, we’re teaching them how to talk in a southern accent….God its amazing 🙂 Ok, Kan ben sooni! Ala ka su here caya all y’all!

Mario

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