Ordinary Men Without Visions

“What choice remains? Well, to be ordinary is not a choice:  it is the usual freedom of men without visions.” (Thomas Merton) I have a lot of hopes and dreams for the future… but these visions have certainly changed the last few years. I suppose about now you are expecting me to list a set of goals,…

Hobbits Live in Mali; Are They “Saucing” On All The Maggi Arome?

The Maggi Arome just disappeared?  What’s up with that?  Darn Hobbits! Had an interesting stroll all over the main market today. Things are getting very busy with the new year celebrations almost upon us. Each year, Sikasso always seems to run out of various food items around this time. It’s never what we expect, and…

Scoundrels And Crooks Robbing The Poor In Mali – Bank Thieves

How can a person or country advance, if the very institutions to facilitate this advancement prevent it from happening? My friend “Abou” (name changed) lives in the bush somewhere in Eastern Mali. I got to know him over the last few years. Abou is a good guy, a teacher of a women’s literacy class in…

Treason Is No Small Accusation For a Former Malian President

Where is all this going to lead? Where is the end? First, we have the coup leader. General Sanogo, arrested in November and charged with the kidnapping, torture and murder of over twenty loyal soldiers during the coup in April 2012. They were discovered in a mass grave recently. These “Red Berets” were loyal soldiers…

Who Knows It’s Christmas Time In Mali?

I actually woke up to hearing the “Band Aid 1984” song, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” What’s up with that? Sometimes I wonder where these things in my head come from. Do any of you remember this song recorded in London by a conglomeration of top European musicians to raise money for international Aid in…

When Skype Gets The Message So Incredibly Wrong

Of course she went ballistic, and I had to peel her off the Canadian ceiling with my words, because we had just confirmed her every fear, worry, and suspicion about us being in Africa off and on for almost two decades.

Christmas Among the Poor

Things I love about Africa…… No Christmas shopping. A Simple Christmas Crowded malls put my blood pressure up. I’d go shopping in December to some madhouse store, almost stand in line, but then wouldn’t,  after asking myself, “Is this really worth this much of my life?”  The answer usually was no, so I’d put it back and do something…

Young Malian Girls Sowing Seeds of Hope For Their Future

I am very proud to watch these grandmothers working with the younger girls this year. I hate to say it, they are growing up into a very hard, demanding life. They have many challenges ahead of them.  At the very least, we will give them a means to make some income, and promote some future health for their future family. Who knows, maybe they will make enough money from gardening to assure their daughters can go to school. There is hope for a better future.

Handled Brooms Have A Design Flaw – They Make Your Feet Dirty

The Image is funny and painful at the same time. Sorry, but I simply don’t get what I’m seeing. Some things were designed to be used only one way.  A broom with a handle is one of those items. We have a girl, about mid twenties, who sweeps and scrubs our home and office three…