Embarrassed In West Africa

I arrived at this remote village and had to meet every single family within the whole campement.  I was led down every back path to meet people in each village hut,  even people living on the outer fringes of the village, families in the bush really. As I exchange greetings, news, and small talk a…

Hike Chat Video About Mali, West Africa

Africa update. I was out hiking and recorded a little video update about our return to Mali. For some reason I never mentioned the water filtration work, or the audio educational materials.

African Motorcycle Blues – Sewer Water On My Feet in Mali

I have never experienced anything this drastic. However, there are days you just go to your room, shut the door, and pretend that Africa is no longer on the other side of that closed door. “I didn’t give a damn how many French government workers stared at me as I dragged my blue plaid rice…

Who Chooses The Fire? Two Stories

Kindness, love, and hospitality at my table, without favoritism, is my way forward through the fire. “Once, I went to interview Jean Cocteau. His house was piled high with bibelots, paintings, drawings by famous artists, books, Cocteau kept everything, and felt a deep love for all those things. So anyway, during the interview, I decided…

Finding Ancient Fossils

Took a motorcycle trip to Nova Scotia and stopped at the Joggin’s fossil Museum and beach. Joggin’s has a beach area where fossilized plants, trees, and insects are found. It was declared a protected UNESCO World Heritage site. My buddy, his son, and I, stopped in for the 1/2 hour tour. The guide took us…

L’Amour En Afrique – Scandalous West African Bucket Showers

Bucket showers are probably the showers of the majority world,  I would think. Water simply does not come from a pressurized tap for most of the planets rural families. Even if it does for town folks, to economize on water, buckets are still filled by taps for washing, no steady stream showers like we are accustomed to…

The African Lady With A Sideways Eye

It was 1996 , yet, twenty years later, I still see her face, her sideways eye, as she looked at me from two directions, regardless of what direction she turned her head. I have been awake since 3:55 AM re-reading a book by a friend, Rob Baker, (Click link) an ethnomusicologist. Reading his stories about…

Elbowing Jihad In Mali

There is trouble brewing in the Mosques here in Mali.  A struggle from within the house of Islam. A Muslim welder in Sikasso was expressing his deep frustration over alarmingly disrespectful occurrences within Sikasso’s Mosques. It seems that there are men in Sikasso’s mosques who are discreetly elbowing others beside them as they form up…

Never Quickly Run Away – Are We Playing In Developing Nations?

“Now, after three years in the Peace Corps, my father’s letter had illuminated my real position and Ecuador; I was engaged in the ultimate bourgeois gesture.  I had come to live for a time in a poor village…. When things got too rough: if I got sick or the food became unbearable or if the…

How Scars Move Us Forward

“When we decide to act, it is natural that unexpected conflict should arise. It is natural that we will be wounded as a result of such conflict. Wounds heal: they stay on as scars, and that is blessing. Such scars stay with us for the rest of our lives, and are of great help to…

Never Coming All The Way Back – Bored With Me?

“The couple of days that he stayed with us were punctuated with amusing and interesting conversations: one I remember was about his four wives, or rather about polygamy. ‘Well’, said Malick (A professional Malian photographer who photographed the Djenne Djenno Hotel in Djenne, Mali) with just a hint of mischief in his eye ‘ Wouldn’t…