Many years ago I lived and worked in Mali as a CUSO volunteer. I shared a house with another volunteer, who subsequently married a Malian and still lives in Bamako. For now, she says they are okay, but of course I worry.
The experience for a young Canadian was eye-opening to say the least. We were fortunate enough to be able to travel extensively. Segou, Mopti, Tombouctou, Gao … We enjoyed the hospitality of Malians and had great respect for their ability to cope in impoverished conditions. Wide warm smiles greeted us wherever we went.
I cannot and do not want to picture the devastation and destruction northern Mali is now enduring.
Here are a few pictures of Mali as it was then.