So when it was time to leave it was very sad for everyone. Over the few weeks that I was in Mali, I formed relationships with the villagers. So for me knowing that I may not ever see these people again brought tears to my eyes. The hardest part was packing up because all the children were helping me and everyone just looked so sad. The good thing is the school’s foundation was completed and now the villagers can build the actual school for the children.
While there I had kept a diary so I can always reflect on my experience in Mali, maybe one day share it with my own family. Before we left we went to a local street market to purchase some souvenirs. Although it was sad leaving I missed my family and was ready to sleep in my bed. We had to drive several hours to go back to Bamako, and then get ready for our long flight back to America. We also had a final dinner and reflection time in the city. Overall I will never forget my experience in Mali. I thank you all for your interest in my wonderful experience and hope you were well informed.
During my time in Mali the one thing I could not do was wear some of their traditional clothing. The clothing was fairly simple for women it usually just consisted of long dresses or silk skirts with matching tops, with colorful designs and shapes. The women also tied their hair up with a tunic. Whereas, the men usually wore full length tunics. Some of the women had shoes on and others had the henna on their feet. Most of the children wore the same things their parents wore. Below is a picture of a Malian man and a woman dressed in traditional clothing.
Recently I made an account on Klout and Peerindex. Both award you points base on how much they think that you were influential to others on social media. However, my Klout score is lower then my Peerindex score although I have the same amount of social media sites linked to each one. The two social media sites I have linked to them are Twitter and Facebook because those are really the only two sites I am active on.
However, I believe that Klout is more accurate then Peerindex because there are more factors that go into your Klout score then does your Peerindex score. In regards to Klout your score incorporates more than 400 signals from more than seven different social media sites. These signals include retweets, likes, comments, subscribers, wall posts, friends, etc. On the other hand Peerindex only allows you to connect 3 social media sites plus your blog and quora. Thus, of course since Klout uses more of your actual social media sites to rewards you points they can accurately award you an influential score. Peerindex is only using a little portion to award you a score, which is not accurate because it does not take all your social media accounts into consideration.
Below is a short video of Malians playing some of the traditional instruments that I have discussed. In the video you will hear the kamal Ngoni, djembe drum, and the gita. Enjoy at the end there is also a little traditional dancing!
Through my experience in Mali, I have heard a lot of different African music. I have heard party dance music, soft traditional Ngoni, and the traditional gita. I just thought I should do a little research on the music’s history, instruments, and popularity since there was a lot of different music I heard. I wanted to actually know the names and how they were similar to the music I hear in America. This will be a three part post. The first is a little history on the music which is below.
History of Mali Music
After Mali reached its independence many bands in African cities started out.
These bands tried to Imitate the international sounds; like, jazz, and Afro-Cuban music, because this was after radios were made.
Mali’s first President was a very traditional man, his name was Modibo Keita. He wanted to keep the Malian culture of music. So he created a national system of state-sponsored bands and traditional ensembles.
Traditional Music-Is based on songs of the jalis (griots). The Jeliya recount genealogical information and historical family events.
Background of Mali Music- Malian people are divided into three groups based on their language. Each group has their own musical tradition.
Live in central Mali
Language is the most commonly used in Mali (Bamara)
Music is simple and unadorned
Famous Bamana performers include the first female celebrity Fanta Damba.
Bamana Djembe drumming is popular
Most complex, highly-ornamented
Dominated by female vocalists and dance orientated rhythms
Later in the night there were lots of free time. Since it was dark we had to find fun things to do, besides from the parties almost every night we played games. We would play American and Malian games. I noticed that most of their games had a theme of unity and were really fun. Below is a picture of us playing games with the Malian children.
One of my favorite games was a game where we all would get in a circle and lock legs and move in a circle. Next you have to see how long you can lock legs while creating a musical beat with your hands. The first one to fall lost and was disqualified. Of course another game is football, which is soccer, as we know it. We also taught them many American games and they really liked a couple of them. Their favorite games were hide and seek and duck, duck goose.
After we were done with our construction for the school there was a lot of free time. So we found lots of fun things to do with the villagers. Two main things I remember that was a lot of fun was making a gita and doing hennas. A gita is traditional Mali instrument it is made of a wooden bowl and seeds or cowrie shells. The group I was with took turns putting the label of the program “BWB” on the bowl with hot coal. Above is a picture of the finished product without the shells attached. The instrument can be played as if it is a drum or it can be turned in the air to make a sound from the shells. Earlier I discussed a wedding that we participated in, and we actually took turns using the gita. Which was a fun experience even though many of us did not know what we were doing.
Another activity we participated in which was fun was making hennas. It is traditional in Mali for women to wear henna on their feet for special occasions; in this case it was for the village wedding. I know many of you may have heard of henna before, many people receive them when visiting the shore. In Mali they use tape and design a geometric design using the tape then apply the henna in the empty spaces. Once the henna is applied, your hand or foot is placed in plastic to sit for several hours why the henna dry. Above is a picture of the henna I received. When it is done drying it is an orange color, but the Malians make theirs black by allowing it to sit for long hours. So after we were done making our instrument and hennas we were ready to participate in the wedding.