Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Humble Abode

Ok, I'm going to make this quick because I'm exhausted...but I just wanted to upload these videos to share with you all. Below are two videos giving you a tour first of the outside and then of the inside of my house in Socourani, Mali. They are both low-quality movies because otherwise I would never get them uploaded with the way I get internet access here! If you have any questions about things you see in the video clips, feel free to leave a comment and I'll be sure to get back to you :).

By the way, for those of you that have Facebook, I also just loaded some photos and videos there showing some Christmas photos as well as videos of me jamming on my new djembe (hand drum) with some Malian drummers...pretty cool stuff :).

Outside tour of my house.

Inside tour of my house.

Not that you can tell at all...but the inside of my house (as shown in the video) looks significantly better now that my mud walls have been plastered over with concrete. It makes my house much cleaner, and keeps out SOME of the termites :).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas in Mali

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday yesterday! I had a great day spent here in Bamako, Mali's capital, with a handful of other volunteers. Peace Corps Mali recently got us a "stage house" in Bamako to serve as a place for volunteers to stay overnight when visiting or doing work in the capital. We're each given 12 nights per year, so a bunch of us decided to use up some of our nights and spend Christmas together. The house has everything we could want including a fridge, stove, internet, and a TV (although it's not hooked up to cable or anything at the moment...we just plug our computers into it and play movies).

Everyone pitched in to help out with food shopping, cooking, baking, decorating, and we all went in on a Secret Santa gift exchange which was awesome! I've posted a few photos below, enjoy!

Breakfast was delicious! French toast, quiche, sausage, & coffee (thankfully, we had some good cooks in the group!)

I made out like a bandit in the Secret Santa gift exchange...Santa happened to know that I was a big Scrabble fan and just so happened to find the game at the Tubab (white man) store in Bamako!

Group shot by the Christmas tree! Yes, we had a Christmas tree!

All the "kids" in the living room watching "Santa Clause" with Tim Allen and attempting to catch up on internet time.

Our family Christmas picture on the stairs, ha ha :).

After dinner we went around caroling in the neighborhood where all the American expatriates live. The expats couldn't believe they had American carolers come to their door in the middle of Mali! Aside from all the warm smiles, we got some cookies and fudge out of the deal too! A successful endeavor if I don't say so myself :).

While I really did enjoy my Christmas here in Mali, I still really missed being home for the holiday with family and friends. I love and miss you all very much! I hope everyone had a great Christmas and wish you all a Happy and Blessed New Year!

Love Owen