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

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