Volunteer: Deanna Kelley
Contributions from Deanna Kelley
I had just arrived in the village of Ganale on our monthly baby-weighing day, greeted the "dugutigi" (village chief) and propped my bike up against a mud wall in our usual meeting area, when a small group of kids met me to take me out to a nearby field. Before getting to work, Mamine, our local village health volunteer, was bringing in some of the rice harvest along with other women in her family. I confess that until my time in Mali, I had no idea what rice looked like before it ap...
A view of the Tombouctou skyline as seen from the roof of the Djinguereber Mosque in the fall of 1995. I like how, since the buildings and the streets are the same color, the city seems to have grown out of the earth. Yes, Tombouctou actually exists! Every since I returned from Mali, I've found myself assuring people around the world that this is actually a real place, not a mythical city or a long-lost place that we just name to refer to somewhere too far away to imagine.
March 1994, in the village of Solo, Keleya Arrondissement, Mali. Every spring, the village celebrates what they call "Moribayasa". I was told that the celebration is to show thankfulness for the previous year's harvests so that they will have a good harvest in the coming season. It's a fun week, including, among other things, plenty of dancing and music, sacrifices, and even old women dressing up as the old men and acting out little plays to poke fun at them. This was the first &quo...