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march 2003

Tominion, Djenne, Sikasso, Bougani and Kolondieba

I'm sitting in Bamako right now, exhausted from staying up late last night, dancing with friends and from working all day.  Today, I also dressed up like a beggar child with my friend Christophe and we begged the stagiers for money for the Gender and Development program.  We are now self funded and we managed to raise 61,000 cfa which is about $100 in 1/2 an hour.  It was fantastic!
So the last month has been pretty exciting.  I stayed at site for quite some time.  It is nice to have a routine there.  It seems that we are always being called out for meetings of some sort.  But I was there for quite some time. 
On March 8, Mary, my team mate and I got dressed up in International Women's day booboos and went out to Sandiakuy to celebrate.  It was interesting.  It consisted of a bunch of men giving speeches about how much women should be appreciated and empowerment, and the women, for the most part, danced around in a circle.  Yes, Mary and I were both obliged to do this as well.  Then, when the speeches were over (1 lady got to speak), the women served food to all the men.  After they were seated and eating out of their common bowl, we sat down in the dirt and on mats outside to eat our food. 
While there, I also got the opportunity to meet my ex-bomu teacher's fiance who is 17.  She was very quiet.  We, unfortunately, mentioned this to Luke, who afterwards gave her a good berating about how she should be more open.  This is on Women's Day.  Can't she do what ever she wants?
The week flew by though and I was madly preparing for a butique formation that my other team mate, Betty, along with 2 stage mates, Dan and Annie were all going to participate in.  The formation was 3 days in Mandiakuy, Betty's village and 3 in Tominion. 

yala yala yala yala yala yala yala yala yala