March 26, 2015

Update from Bamako, Week 3

Dear Family,

Hope you all are doing well. We wanted to send you an update about our life in Bamako. This is our third week here, and we are starting to discover the lay of the land. Though we live in a pretty sheltered neighborhood, with a small pool, we often have to venture out to super markets located in crowded neighborhoods. More than once, we've gotten lost on tiny side roads full of broken down cars, goats, and kids playing. 

We cannot do all our grocery shopping in one place. We usually have to go to a couple different small supermarkets to find everything, which takes a lot of time every week. Luckily, we find fresh fruits and vegetables at outdoor stands at very good prices. Right now mangoes and mandarins are in season, so they're plentiful and delicious. Adeel cannot find chicken breasts all the time, so he's learning to snap them up and freeze them if they're ever available.

We bleach our vegetables in one gallon of water and one capful of bleach--and have learned not to wear our best clothes when doing that (see picture of Dorothee's ruined shirt).

Bleaching our fruits and vegetables

Dorothee's shirt

The fruit stand where Adeel shops

Our pool

Adeel soaking in the pool after a hot day

A palm tree with coconuts in our back yard

In the dusty streets (whether paved or not), we frequently get accosted by people trying to sell us scents, toys, kleenexes, and plant hammocks

Unpaved roads are plentiful

Women dressed in boubous riding motos are a common sight in Bamako

Thankfully, we do find chocolate croissants and other sweets at local patisseries and boulangeries

Some sweets at a bakery that also serves excellent Lebanese food (Le Relax)

Adeel trying to play an African musical instrument at Mali Chic store

Streets are littered with trash--this is a really deep sewer that is completely filled. Where will the torrential rains of the wet season go?

Even if it takes a lot more time to source and prepare the ingredients, we are still able to cook the way we like.

Miss you all,
Adeel and Dorothee

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