I buy peanuts from a lady right down the street. I eat food that my new friend Awa sells in our neighborhood. I am slowly learning to order in Bamara. Sha=Beans, unf=eggs, loko=Plantains… I still have to point at most things but people are all patient and happy to help me learn, happy that I am trying. I also still have to act out the different animals that I don’t want in my food- goats, cows, fish…, the performance usually gets a laugh out of the surprised food vendors. If I try to go on a walk, I cant get more then two blocks before some one invites me to drink tea with them. The tea is sweet, foamy and delicious. The tea drinking ritual takes at least an hour and is slowing me down to the pace of people here.
My new friend Moosa is teaching me French and we practice everyday. I am trying to conjugate verbs… The difficulty of french is a good conversation topic with everyone else here. French is nobodies native tongue, and it is proving to be quite a weird language. The conversation generally goes like this- Me-“Le français est difficile.” Anyone else-“Oui il est si difficile.” Thats about how far we can get.
We went out a few nights ago to a restaurant that hosted live music. The musician, Toumani Diabati, happens to be world famous and super good. I danced for hours, and daydreamed about and finding a way to move here, and becoming an ex-pat. If I could dance to Malian music every day for the rest of my life, I would be about as happy as I can get.
We also visited a market yesterday. I did a couple more artist interviews, so please check out the African Artist page for updates. I was tempted to buy all sorts of things, from living chameleons to giant skin guitars. Instead I settled for little tiny skin guitar, and a dehydrated vulture head. I am satisfied with my new stuff, though I am a bit weirded out with the bird head and usually get the creeps when I look at it… I am collecting things to send home and make art out of later. I am finding goat horns, interesting plant material, porcupine quills, and pretty garbage. Daydreaming about all the things I can make when I get home.