happy new year everybody! I got back from mali this week and i’m both happy and sad to be back. It’s always good to come home after being away from it but the experiences i had in mali were both exhausting and life changing and a part of me wants to continue that adventure in an exotic land. It was such a challenge getting there…our team spent half the time we were away just travelling! To get to mali we flew from toronto–>new york–>casablanca–>paris–>bamako!!!! You can imagine the frustrations especially after spending a night at the airport due to the snowstorm related flight delays and cancellations in europe. When we finally arrived in mali we couldn’t believe we had made it!!!!!! Once we arrived we got a good nights rest before we headed out the next day for a 10hr bus ride to Mopti where we would begin our travel down the niger river on a boat. Before we took off on the boat our team distributed rice to one of the villages in Mopti. It’s an experience i’ll never forget. In order for the women to recieve rice they had to first give us the coupons which we had distributed prior to…we tried our best to make them line up for the rice but they went CRAZY!!!! You would think they would line up because they each had the coupon and there was plenty of rice to go around but they all pushed and shoved making our job very difficult and exhausting. I never knew giving would be so difficult and complicated.
It was so exciting for me to be there and have the opportunity to take photos. However, the population is mostly islamic and most of the women refused to be photographed (so i took them secretly :P). I would love to be able to do more travel photography and spend time living with the people and photograph the way they live. I’d love to go back to Pakistan where i grew up to take photos and learn the language. One of the best parts of the trip was when we met some christian malians who invited us to sit down to have some breakfast with them. It was yummy!!! Goats head in some yummy broth-y sauce with deep fried bread. My favorite part was interacting with the locals and seeing the way they live…I’ve always hated being a tourist and I try my best to try and not appear as one…although this is hard when you clearly look different from the locals :P
The villages we visited had donkeys galore and they were so cute! donkeys are so cute~!
I’ll never forget the lessons i learned in Mali. It was such a great and meaningful way to end the year.
Here are some shots, enjoy!
the boat :)