Wednesday, March 10, 2010

bits of life

Just a couple little bits as I’m on a one-day swing through Bamako:

1) My last post garnered a lot of check-ins from friends and family, for which I am tremendously grateful. It’s nice to know someone’s still paying attention. I also received more than one gentle correction on my use of the phrase “baby sheeps”. Yes, they are “sheep”, not “sheeps”. Also, a “baby sheep” is more properly called a lamb. “Baby sheeps”, therefore, are lambs. Thank you to the English majors and shepherds (lambherds?) among you. Extra points for anyone who can tell me definitively if the owner of one sheep qualifies as a shepherd. Does the title necessitate an entire herd, or can one be a herder (a herd?) of a single sheep? I only ask because, as of this writing, there are still no baby sheeps. My family says “any day now”, but they’ve been saying that for like a month, which kind of calls their credibility into question.

2) On the phone the other day, my father noted that he had checked the temperature in Bamako the other day. Until he barged in with his internets, all I knew was that it was “stinking hot”. Apparently, we’re hitting 107 daytime, and at 2am one morning (my time), he checked to find it was still 90. I don’t want to whine, because it’s about to get a lot worse, but its probably ten degrees hotter inside my house. For a second, I thought I was just being a wimp, but then Mali’s national press carried a story about how this is the hottest beginning of March on record. In reality, this means that nobody goes to bed before midnight because it’s too hot to go inside. Also, I do absolutely nothing between lunch and 4pm, which if you ask me is a perfect nap-time window, except that it’s infringing on actual work. To be honest, except for the sleeping thing, it’s not yet intolerable… more whining to come.

3) In Mali, we have cashew fruits. I know, most readers are more familiar with the delicious cashew nut, but it turns out that in its natural state, the nut is encased in an impossibly-hard, un-tasty knob on the end of a juicy, delicious red or yellow fruit. In fact, I didn’t recognize said fruit as “cashew” until another Volunteer explained it to me. Anytime I’ve told Malians about cashew nuts, they look at me like I have three heads. When I tell them what we pay for said nuts in Ameriki, five heads. I’m hoping to do a training on how to extract, package, and sell said nuts. Cashew season is in full-swing, so I’ll need to hurry.


Mattie said...

Oh man, 107 already. Good luck surviving Dan!

Michael said...

What can I say, Dan, except that the people of Bamako are fortunate enough to know someone with such boundless energy and generosity. Focus now on the cooperative, and know that your energy is being put to great use.

FYI: Shepherds would normally work in groups either looking after one large flock, or each bringing their own and merging their responsibilities.

I borrowed that from Wikipedia, of all places. But indeed, even one sheep maketh a shepherd.

Peace, Prosperity of Spirit, and Breeze be yours,


jenny said...

Laaaaaamb!!!!! Congrats sheepy-daddy!