Monthly Archives: June 2012

Farewell, Bamako

Last weekend my family and I left Bamako and returned to our home in eastern Pennsylvania. The process of packing up one house, traveling thousands of miles through four airports with two young children and hundreds of pounds of luggage, … Continue reading

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90 days of disaster

Several weeks ago I had an e-mail exchange with an acquaintance about events in Mali. I was uneasy about the way the military had suspended the country’s existing political institutions. I wrote, “the junta’s repeated attempts to ‘push the reset … Continue reading

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A southern sojourn

This blog is about Bamako, but I hope you’ll indulge me now when I write about someplace else. I spent the last few days on a kind of pilgrimage, a trip to the part of Mali where I used to … Continue reading

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The cultural iceberg

In the winter of 2011 I spent an evening commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, the organization that first brought me to Mali 15 years ago. That night I joined a panel of former Volunteers — including a … Continue reading

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Quiet, too quiet

Here in Bamako we are very thankful for slow news weeks. When seven more days go by without another attempted coup, counter-coup, violent demonstration or physical assault on the head of state, that is just fine by us. The quiet … Continue reading

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Fighting for the republic, with beats and rhymes

Malian society has seen unprecedented levels of tension since Mali’s northern rebellion, military coup d’├ętat and subsequent political turmoil came to a head a few months ago. Young Malians, and young Bamakois in particular, have felt increasingly victimized by the … Continue reading

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Bamako’s lone pollster strikes again

You almost never see opinion polls conducted in Bamako. Yes, there are periodic nation-wide social surveys like the Afrobarometer, which studies attitudes toward government and the economy, and the Demographic and Health Surveys, which ask respondents about fertility, family planning … Continue reading

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