Friday, July 29, 2011

Lots of Pictures!!

This is a slew of pictures that I'm not sure I'll be able to post in one post, but they are an assorted group of events from the fishing festival I was talking about to sand storms/regular storms. Not much time so I won't be able to put a caption for each. Things are going well, very busy right now with networking and getting people on board with my projects and stuff.Here I was just taking pictures of lightning because I thought it was cool. Malians were terrified that the camera would attract the lightning and I would get hurt so it took a little bit of convincing.

Right before a sandstorm! Quickly get inside! (or put on your turban) I'm glad the color came out right, because it's just a weird orange color and you see the sand coming, it's very cool.

Mud on my face... apparently I'm fertile and with give birth to many children.

Very fertile women...

Racing donkey carts!

Monday, July 18, 2011

I'm Cold!

I thought this was worth posting. I'm cold and it makes me happy. When I'm cold here I try to make it last as long as possible because it's awesome! There was a big storm today which cooled things off, but then there was wind afterwards, so with the windchill at 85 degrees F I was cold and it was great.
Currently working on a website for the Bwa Cultural Festival that I'm helping out with. I really don't have anything to do since everyone is gone but this seemed like a good enough reason to grab internet from one of the local NGOs. Otherwise, today I did laundry and installed these cool programs that my friend found for me when I was in Bamako. He is working somewhere where they have computers and he figured he could find educational games. Well I found out and he passed a couple of them along to me. So I installed them in the computer lab at the IFM. The games include a basic english vocab game with cute pictures; an Africa geography game where you have to properly match the names to the the map and then add the capitals which isn't easy but I know the geography students will have a blast; a very cool molecule creator game which looks rather complicated but I haven't played with it enough; and the most useful game being a typing game which teaches you where to properly put your hands when typing (something I need to work on myself) and times you to see how fast you can type phrases. All these were free games he found online and I think I'll try to find some other ones do that there are more subjects. So those installations took the better part of a half hour, and then it started raining so I had to go back home.
Yesterday I finished my 46th book (an excellent historical fiction novel about the battle of Gettysburg called The Killer Angels) in the 12 months that I've been here, I need to catch up on my goal of reading 1 book a week but Tolstoy has slowed me down. If anybody has book recommendations, I've read just about every genre from science fiction and russian literature to books on genocide, democracy and science fiction.

Didn't really post on the 4th of July, but I went to Manantali and celebrated our Independence Day and my 1 year anniversary in country. This doesn't mean I'm halfway done yet, that doesn't happen until September when I officially swore in, but it is a milestone. Manantali is amazing. It doesn't look like Mali. It's this green paradise where you can sit by the river (and not go in because that's against Peace Corps policy because you could get Shistosomiasis and that's bad) and see hippos or hang out by the stage house and watch a huge troupe of monkeys swing by from tree to tree. It almost felt surreal but it was very cool and nice to get away with other volunteers for a bit. Unfortunately no pictures of the monkeys because they were terrified of cameras. And I didn't see any hippos, some did but it seemed like I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I'll be on between 3pm and 6pm my time regularly this week.