Bringing Others To Birth – I Stopped Saving The World

I grew sick of hearing the sound of my own voice. “They discover that it’s difficult, they don’t know how to relate. They don’t know how to listen….. They know how to tell people what to do. They are trained in “telling” people. But they’ve not got the idea of listening, and bringing people to…

Africa, Motrocycles, Working Too Hard, And Foolish People

“Those who know him generally like him well enough, providing he keeps his thoughts mostly to himself.” (William P. Young. The Shack) We did two bush runs on the motorcycles in one day, covering about 160km. One of our projects was going so well, my wife and I had to return to Sikasso for more…

A Cheerful and Undefeated Mali

I am cheerful, and undefeated. Ninety two… yes, remember the number Ninety two……..92……. “Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.” (Earnest Hemingway. The old Man And The Sea) Some great things happening. Here are some of the great women in our…

One Conversation Transformation

“I grew up in Libya in abundance and I believed my people lived in similar conditions. My father never told me. This is pure hunger. Life in the Sahara is hard. It’s tough even for the young people so how can the elderly take it? I can’t  stand the way my people are living here….

You Give, and Give and Give ………

“I usually joke about my years spent in a West African village, as if they were simply a sweaty, stinky, rat eating, tummy cramping adventure, as if Africa and the villagers hadn’t given their homes, their laughter, their grooves, their children, their food, their lives, as if they hadn’t given and given and given their…

The Waifs Were Invited In

Acceptable Christmas Rebellion. It is Christmas morning in Mali. I have not been to church for a Christmas service for some years now. That makes me a pagan in the minds of some. However, my faith is intact, and lived out with others, as is needed. I simply have avoided box church, so far, for…

A Visual African Travel Story

This is not a story about broad adventures across the continent. I don’t have any. But I do know the remote paths of the back bush where I work. Let me share some of the scenes seen on my trip to the village. My crappy writing can not do it justice. But this is how…

Sometimes You Cry in Africa

I read a paragraph in “Living Poor”, that has stuck with me. “The incapacity of the poor to see the pattern of their lives is occasionally breached. I took a color photograph of Wai and his family standing in front of their house, and when the people of the town saw it, it had the…

And When Your Hair is Grey – Get Your Ass Overseas (Part#2)

The other day, I had an expat family drop by on the way to Bamako. I know their family had just decorated their place for Christmas, as I saw their beautiful pictures on FaceBook.  When they arrived we were all chatting, but outside my office door one of the kids excitedly asked, “Do you have…

When Your Eyes Are Old – Fishing Old (Part 1)

Something rather atypical has sparked a contemplation of my elderly-ness. You would not believe what I have been doing in the evenings here in Mali, West Africa, after I take the Invisible Humanitarian cape off.  This picture summarizes it…. I have been making eel nets. Well, been trying to. The evenings are long here, with…

Sweet Elderly Africa – Riveting African Portraits

I love elderly African people.  I could sit and chat with them for hours, or just sit there looking at them. They contain the wisdom of their people, librarians of oral history. You can see the depths of this history in the lines on their faces. I captured a few vivid images with my smartphone….