My family was very lucky this year to be able to return to Mali, my Peace Corps country of service and my husband’s homeland, after eight years away. It was so great to be back and see family and friends and all the changes going on in the city and my old village, Salamale. We had taken Nani to Mali when she was one, but Dambou had never been. It was an incredible experience for them to meet all their relatives and see the Malian way of life. My parents were also able to join us for two weeks and have Christmas and New Years Eve with us and Lassana’s family.
Over the past five winters, Lassana has been building a house just outside of Bamako. Finally, he has completed his work and the house will be ready to rent out before he returns home to us. Located just a 10 minute drive into the center of the capital city, Bamako; the house is nestled among mango trees and only a short walk to the Niger River. The house has a large open living room with a cathedral ceiling open to the third level, a large dining room and kitchen with separate laundry room, 6 bedrooms: two on the first floor with a shared bath, two on the second floor with shared bath, and two are private suites with private baths and porches, also on the second floor. There is a beautiful roof deck that sits above the mango trees and is perfect for relaxing in a warm afternoon breeze. The tiled pool in the backyard is plenty deep for diving, and long enough to do laps in. There is a rock waterfall with a lighted cave to swim into at the deep end. More photos of the finished house to come, since it was not quite done when I left Mali in January. Landscaping was all done by Lassana with many native tropical plants and trees including coconut palms, papayas and flowering shrubs. More photos of that to come too! If you or anyone you know is interested in renting this villa for long or short term, contact me!
Fellow Mali RPCVs, Greg Flatt and Cindy Hellmann, started ECOVA Mali and here are some photos from the training site outside Bamako
On the river, this bird became a delicious breakfast made by my sister-in-law!
My last night in Safola, we decided to have a little dance party, so we called the drummers and had some fun!