Archive for October, 2009

Garrett Sees More of Mali

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

Where to begin?, why not in Tibuktu?Having spent two long days on the
(with widely differing interpretations of the word) we arrived in
Tombouctou. I went off into the desert for a wander with some tuareg,
bunch of lads i must say.
As you do in a desert I had a good little chat with myself, took stock
somewhat at the ‘edge of the world’ and started to make my back to
The journey takes you to a myriad of place and peoples from Bamako to
regions of Mopti, Segou, Dogon country and on up to Tombouctou. There
many languages with varying customs etc. for each tribe, suffice to say
could just about make out what language people were talking, but had no
as to content.
The landscape also changes remarkably from place to place, from scrub
to pastureland, to paddy fields and desert to the rocky outcrops of the
Dogon Country.
There are times when you can drive some distance and see no-one and
much just scrub, then people appear and you may not see another person
another ten miles. Resilience must be central to their very core, the
unforgiving heat does not show any mercy, and lifestyles must be
But surprisingly when you do actually stop a group of people will
just appear from nowhere, which in a way reminds me of Ireland. When
are some strangers around there will always tend to be locals only too
to have a ‘nosy’ as we used to say. To say hello, exchange
pass the time of day. some things are universal it seems, I dont think
addiction to socialising has been researched enough to remotely come to
terms with its central focus in day to day life, for everyone, but I
digress, again.
Alongside the road from Mopti further up north there is signs of real
progress, rural electrification and the road being upgraded. This to me
a real sign of a commitment to extend the reach of people in these
communites and also to open up many possibilities.
Access to power and transport with the rest of the coutry will likely
greatly increase economic activity as well as offering true development
potential to vast swathes of the country. However there is still plenty
work to be done, as the cable laying runs parallel with the road it is
people withint distance of this that shall benefit in the early stages.
full rolling out of electricity supply to the entire rural population
take great efforts from the regions and the towns within these regions,
never mind the sparsely populated rural areas between towns and
But is definitely a step in the right direction, one of many that I see
Mali of today taking.
At present the political will definitely appears to be there, there are
plenty of countries vying for influence in this emerging country and the
people themselves are eager for progress, they have seen it for the
number of years, but the common refrain is that it needs to happen
As ever also the rural folk feel that benefits will come to them slowly
that a concentration on their plight is not high on the central
The upgraded roads and the laying of cables do however offer the
for the regions to develop themselves, wating for government action is
likely the best course of action and it would appear that Malians
are all too aware of this.
What happens in the coming months and years could truly be remarkable, a
country hungry for development, with plenty of suitors in the wings has
real opportunity to effect real, lasting, positive change

Honestly taken a few days back just stopped at traffic lights in Bamako

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Just for Emily ; )