For the time being things have calmed down here in Mali. Although normal daily life seems to be in place at government and private sectors, the market place rumors are still on about the scared and scattered insurgents that are now navigating though the Niger river Southward. They are increasingly mixing themselves within the population of the south as they shave their long and thick beards to fit in. It is believed that the district of Bamako has not been heavily infested yet with their presence. But other cities that most attracted to them are those along the niger river (Segou, Markala, Mopti and even Koulikoro just some 70 km north toward Banamba.) They journey in small boats usually at night and they are being caught daily in those places.

 The Africa cup in soccer has started this week. As usual, people gather around televisions everywhere–even in the middle of the street. This has been shifting people’s mind from the war and brings a bit of calmness.

I went to meet Djeneba (The young blind girl from the village of Soni Cegni that a Ko-Falen member sponsored to go the the Institute for the Blind in BKO last year). It was great to meet her. She is awfully quiet but seems to be a bright little girl. I asked her if she liked her school and she said yes, but would like to visit home more often. I told her to bear with the school policies for now and that she will have a bright future. I also promised to her that I will pay another year of her school fee. She is very happy. 

On Thursday, I will be visiting a school by request to meet and teach drawing through story telling.  

I may want to find a place in Portland to share my experiences of this travel all at once.  Any ideas?

Love you,