Sunday, October 30, 2011


September 22nd, Malian Independance Day, known simply as "vignt-deux," is THE biggest party of the year in our village. We invited two neighboring volunteers to join the festivities with us last month. The celebration begins with a soccer game in the afternoon of the 21st as people from neighboring villages flood into town. We brought in a ringer to join in the soccer game, a friend and neighboring volunteer who used to play in college. The village was extremely impressed to see a toubabu in action on the field. The eve of the 22nd, street food and dance parties in every neighborhood until dawn.

The morning of the 22nd, thanks to a well connected friend, we scored VIP seats to hear local government officials speak and watched a parade featuring tradional hunters and marchers from surrounding villages. Mid day - street food and treats not usually available at our weekly market. In the afternoon - canoe races on the Niger River, again viewed from VIP seats.

View of the town square from our VIP seats

The parade begins

Parade marchers ready for the canoe race

Watermelon season begins

The race

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