Saturday, April 9, 2011


No one likes to move. The last time we moved, it involved loading a Budget Moving Truck and driving across North Dakota and Eastern Montana in sub-zero January temperatures. Fast forward three months, increase the temperature by 120 degrees and substitute the Budget Truck with a coach bus full of Malians and our belongings strapped on top. At least that is what we think lies ahead for our move next week. Other than the logistical challenges, this is one move that we can get excited about as it means that we are moving forward into service in our communities.

As our training days come to an end we will soon become official volunteers and make the move to our permanent site. During our first three months at site we will have very limited access to our regional capitol/internet. We hope to write plenty of letters.

Our custom made Malian outfits fit like a charm (though things here don't exactly fit like a glove as clothes are worn quite loosely here) We will do our best to post photos from our upcoming swearing in ceremony before we ship off to site.

All plans here are subject to it stands now-

April 12 - Official Volunteer Swearing In Ceremony

April 13 - Travel from Bamako to Segou, our regional capitol

April 15 - Travel to permanent site from Segou (this is where the coach bus with our belongings strapped on top comes into play)

April 15 through mid June - learning the language and getting to know our communities. During this time we will only come to the regional capitol for two nights to take care of banking, post office, internet etc

Last 2 weeks of June - Volunteer training in Bamako

July 2012 onward - continued integration with host communities and work begins on offical projects

Many unknowns lie ahead, but we are looking forward to the next step in this experience. Keep us posted on life in the US - in our minds USA time was frozen in late January but apparently spring has sprung for some of you. Palm Sunday and Easter are on the way. Baseball and Golf seasons? Anyone wearing shorts on the first 45 degree day? Tulips?


  1. Today we had a freak 90 degree day, so we're (almost...) feeling your heat in Nebraska. But mostly it's 50s or 60s with the spring flowers blooming. Crocuses are giving way to daffodils and hyacinth in our front bed, and the tulips are nearly ready to open.

    Good luck with the upcoming move and settling into your new home!! We (finally) mailed our first little pack of letters a couple days ago, so maybe you'll hear from us in a month or two :). We'll try to do a better job of keeping them coming now that we've gotten started. However the mail works out, though, we're thinking of you often.

    Love, Staci

  2. Staci, thanks for the message and the packet of letters. Until now, we have been very busy, but we are told that the first three months at the new village are perhaps the hardest and most lonely. The packet will be much appreciated.

    Lincoln is a good place to be this time of year, I cannot believe Easter is around the corner!

    Hello to the girls, Peter, and Nathaniel.


  3. Sherri & I just caught up with these posts - great stuff! This evening I watched Marianne's soccer game - she has potential. Trees are starting to leaf out, and Sherri's wild plum tree (planted from seed) is blooming. No papayas, however.

    Fed Gov't nearly shut-down April 8 at midnight, but was averted temporarily; next showdown is this Friday, April 15 - hopefully Congress and the Administration will find a way to complete the full FY 2011 Appropriations by then, but hey, that only runs through Sept 30 of this year. Who says democracy is pretty, or efficient?

    Love to you both, Bintu & Salim

    - Dad C.