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ali in mali
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june 2002

i've recieved my invitation to go.... now i just need to pack.  i don't think that this should be too hard.  i've done it before.  and lordy, i met one girl backpacking with only a day pack and a purse.  she'd been out for 7 months with that gear.  it makes me think what i'll really need for 2 years and 3 months.

So I developed a yahoo club group for Mali Peace Corps Volunteers.  Already 36 people have joined and there are over 200 posts.  It is so strange living in this world, I mean the world of technology, where it is so easy to meet people from everywhere on the computer.  Most of the people that I am going to meet out in Mali have probably not even used a computer.  One volunteer told a story how he set up his Malian friend with e-mail and then realized that he was going too fast when he had to explain what the space bar did.  Such different worlds...
I have now overpacked, officially.  I have developed multiple piles on my floor, the least space designated for clothes as that will be much more reasonable to get in country.  My main concern is all the books I feel inclined to take with me... two of which being large, dense volumes of college economics.  I'm setting myself up for some fun reading.  The bike manual that Niki, my best friend, has given me is another one.  Heaven forbid I'm on some isolated road with nothing except for a broken bike and my manual.  I think I'll just have to memorize it before I take such dangerous adventures as that :). 
There will be 56 people in my group being shipped off.  This summer quarter alone, the Peace Corps is sending 72 volunteers out in Mali.  With their rate of progression, we might just be trying to forward the Manifest Destiny doctrine by populating developing countries.

july 2002