From Bobo to Sevare – the long way

Greetings All!

Since leaving Ouagadougou, we got our visas extended in Bobo-Dioulasso, a more laid back city whose main pest is that it plays host to quite a lot of mosquitoes. More importantly, however, its Grand Marche (central market) is very serene, if there exists such a market, and a beautiful mud brick mosque. We are all set to camp out at Casafrica, a lovely little hotel just outside of town.

From Bobo-Dioulasso, we took a long bus ride to Bamako where we met with Mary from Sahel-Eco. It is truly awe-inspiring to listen to Mary talk about her work. She is super excited (as are we) about having us stay in Tominian to learn about sustainable forestry initiatives, and to take part in the process of producing shea butter from karite.

We stopped briefly in the beautiful river-front city of Segou (which we highly recommend traveling to during ITT), before proceeding to Tominian to check out the Sahel Eco field site. Though slightly difficult to get to by public transit, we were immediately welcomed by Amadou Tangara, one of the most affable men we have met so far. With Amadou and the rest of Sahel Eco looking out for us, Tominian is sure to be a load of fun.

By chance, the days happen to align such that we will be passing by Djenne, a UNESCO world heritage site, as they are having their famous weekly market. As a result, we plan to spend two nights in Djenne, exploring the amazing mud brick city and its mosque, the biggest mud brick structure in the world, as well as its bustling market. We have met several people who are eager to see us return with the group, who will have the opportunity to purchase items shipped in from all across Africa.

From Djenne to Sevare, we had the privilege of sitting next to some of the larger African women we have seen as well as enduring a flat tire and a police search. Needless to say, we are happy to be in Sevare, where we will spend the next few days finalizing plans for Dogon and finding a place for the group to stay while here, before making our way back down to Accra to meet up with the group. With precon almost complete, we couldn’t be more excited to get on with the next phase of the trip which includes adding 11 amazing individuals to the mix!

With love from Mali,

Lauren and Andy

PS Our numbers for the next few days in Mali are +223.772.74.013 (Lauren) and +223.772.74.016 (Andy) before returning to Burkina Faso