Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Week Two: Settling In

Hello everyone,

Mali time seems to either stand still or fly by. I have already been here for eleven days, but it feels like much more.

Reading the title of my last entry... Obviously the keyboard and my english skills are slipping, so aRriving in Mali was fun.

But since then I have come across a few cultural differences and many upsetting things. I have not yet to come to terms with the garbage. It makes me livid to see it piled high outside houses and in the streets, Yet I know deep down my attempt to collect my own trash will ultimately result in throzing in the pile as well. An angering thought.

Also I am in shock that people assume that cleaning their hands with just water will sanitize them. My two older sisters and doctors and they still only use water. Needless to say I wonder what they teach them in University.

Apart from that the people are incredible. They laugh more often and smile more than I have ever seen. I feel happier while I am here. This fact I also think leads to the age crisis here. Or rather my age crisis here. It is seemingly impossible to tell age here. I cannot tell if my sister is 13 or 25, she is 22 I asked but it could easily go either way. I think this love for happiness fuels their ageless appearance.

So I have decided to study water treatment and purity in Mali for my ISP. I am still in shock about the washing of hands and would like to see how much this influences their everyday life. The sickness percentages, the death age, or if it doesn't. Also when big coorporations dig a well or help for sanitization; do they return, do they teach the people? Goodness gracious I have a lot of questions.

But needless to say I need to find where they keep the soap and why people do not use it.

So there goes my intectual quest within the Malian misfortunes. But again I take the western approach and do not give the people a chance to explain their Malian way of life. Alas I do believe I will be befuddled and confused most of the time but I have already realized three months is too short.

But we visited a Womens rights group today. It was interesting but I cannot understand the place of women here. They hold them up like idols in the museum but will step all over them at home. I think there is a slight miscommunication when it comes to practicing the things they belive.

Last thought:

My servant here has an enormous cut on her hand. The family just says she is sick, she is sick. I cannot grasp if it is sick of the head or sick like a disease because she cuts off or just cuts herself. There are gapping wounds everywhere on her body. She deals with it civil war style and coats it in sugar. I guess Toto isn't the only one using this remedy. So my first question is, how long has this been going on? Next, my two older sisters are doctors, why do they let this happen? or do they not know any better? Also my servant family here is our cousins family... why do they let this happen to a family member? and if family is so close again why dont they treat it more effectively? So tonight I am going to give her some neosporin. It looks like it is an open wound for a long time. Unfortunately I will have to take my American mindset and not think about the consequences from my family.

Well until later...

1 comment:

  1. Oh Kat - We miss you. Please be careful.... Remember you can't change the world in three months. Just take it all in and then change it when you get home safetly!
    I am so proud of you and I love you.