01 January 2012

a new year, an old year, new friends, old friends

Back Camerait’s a new year.

a new paysage. landscape.

tpostsite05but let’s rewind first.

tpostsite01back to last year.

to vehicles crowded with peace corps volunteers.

tpostsite03to mango trees in your training village.

tpostsite04to yala yalas after bambara classes. walks.

tpostsite06to woson bulu. sweet potato leaves.

(which is used to make saga saga – a dish you’ll all learn about later)

tpostsite07to nakos full of onions and carrots. gardens.

tpostsite08to a perfect log where good conversations would take place.

txmas00let’s keep rewinding - to december 25th. 

txmas01to christmas day in mali.

txmas07a relaxing day.

txmas08a day to take a break from being in a malian village – a day to go back to being american. as a volunteer it’s crucial to fit in with your malian community. but it’s also important to keep the american side of you as well.

txmas06and what better way to be your american self than cardmaking and coloring?

txmas02or making cookies?

txmas15or better yet, cooking.

txmas52there’s a chef in charge.

txmas03a chef who planned a menu. in english and bambara – three pages worth. a meal for about sixty people.

txmas25thankfully there are plenty of hands to help.

txmas10apple pies and sugar cookies.

txmas04there’s plenty to do.

txmas55and plenty to laugh about as well. is it possible to cook without laughing?

txmas17glazed ham.

txmas20peanut butter cookies.

txmas19there’s more. like macaroni and cheese and salad and green beans and glazed carrots and mashed potatoes and biscuits and hot chocolate and tea.

however, the photos aren’t here.

txmas26because you decide to sneak away.

txmas32silly trainees and volunteers walk toward you. “we’re going to the river!" want to join us?”

txmas30you don’t say no.

txmas33for a change, instead of following bird tracks, you follow human footprints.

txmas31there are bi naani ni kelen new trainees in your group. 41.

txmas4041 faces. 41 personalities. 41 stories.

txmas35of course you can’t possibly grow close to all forty one of them.

txmas34that would be too tiring.

txmas38you are a bit curious about who will become the people you’ll come to love most.

txmas36will it be your training center roommates? your training village classmates?

txmas39your sitemate? the people placed in your region?

txmas45the trainers? current volunteers? future volunteers?

txmas44friendship. it shouldn’t be forced – it should just happen.

txmas37new friends. but you’ve not forgotten your old friends.     

txmas46there are so many things in mali you want to share with them. you can’t wait until the day they come. you constantly think about all the things you’d like to share with them. sooni. soon.

txmas47old friends, new friends – they’re going to meet.

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