Day One cont.

Well, we didn’t make it to the party. The father of the xylophone player died and they are having a funeral instead. So, change of plans.

Went to the Women and Children’s Bogolan Workshop. WOW! Good stuff! Interesting set up. They are geared towqrd production work qnd use stencils for their pqtterns. They qlso do indigo dying qnd pqpermqking. Some lovely pqpers. CB got the chqnce to sit down qt the fly shuttle loom qnd do some weaving.

Just finished q lovely lunch qt the hotel – qn aspic with vqrious vegetqbles qnd caramelized onions on top. Very interesting trying to figure out what to eqt zhen it is qll in french.

I think we will be going to a bogolqn qrtist’s studio this qfternoon.

My bqd on the roads – there is more thqn one pqved roqd in the city – not many, but more thqn one. We drove over q river or lqke – not sure which – where there were vegetqble fields on the bqnks qnd fishers in the wqter.

Sorry qbout qll the Qs – the q is where the a should be qnd I get tired of correcting it!

Off for the next qdventure.

Cooked Bandannas

In my house I do the weekday cooking and my love takes the weekend shift. We’re just talking dinner each day, so there is no real hardship for either of us.

Tonight we had broiled perch fillets, wild and plain rice and broccoli. All that was underway when my love got home from work. He took notice and then promptly got comfortable in front of the TV news with a glass of wine and some cheese and crackers.

What wasn’t so obvious was the extra microwave dish that was cooking away. In for three minutes, out to rearrange the contents, back in for another three, check for moisture content, back in for more….

Time for dinner and the broccoli and rice pots took their respective places on the table. The perch came out of the broiler. My love asked about the other dinner dish still cooking…

Poor guy goes through this all the time with various packages of pulp and guts and soy-mud in the freezer and refrigerator. Tonight I was cooking some bandannas that I had mudded last evening. Since the soy I use likes time to work well, and I am in need of having these ready for the Mali trip, I knew I could hurry the process some by heating the mudded cloth. In a large glass dish with steam droplets heavy on the inside of the clear lid, it really did look like some interesting dinner component.

His face sort of fell when he realized it wasn’t edible. I guess I’ll have to think of something really good to cook for tomorrow.

New Year

2007 is off to a great start!

I am usually pretty lousy at keeping my financial records up to date, but with the impending trip to Mali, I figured I better get everything in order before I leave so it is ready to go to the accountant when I get back. So, this afternoon I finished entering all the necessary data. Feels good to have that done. All I need to do now is set up an appointment for February.

I’ve started piling for the Mali trip. One of our empty bedrooms really is empty since we used that single bed to make a king-sized bed in the other bedroom. In place of the bed, there are now various piles of necessary ‘stuff’ – like a hat, travel towel, lightweight long pants, flashlight, hand sanitizer, etc. The local group – six of us – is meeting tomorrow to go over lists, ideas, suggestions, etc. to make the packing process go smoothly and to insure there are no “Oh, I forgot!” moments. I’ve warned my love to expect orderly chaos in that room …

Speaking of my love, he surprised me big time with a wonderful Christmas gift: a hot tub! We’ll choose the final product and placement details after the Mali trip, but we’ll be putting it off the current deck, down three feet and sunk into its own decking. I’ve got my towel ready!


In an effort to be ready for my planned trip to Mali (did I mention this yet?), I saw a travel doc today. She went over my itinerary and pronounced me in need of various inocculations, vaccines and boosters.

Yellow fever, although not necessary due to the low incidence of the disease, is required by the country for permission to enter. So, that was a given going into the meeting.

Flu I opted out of for the moment – haven’t had a flu shot in years and the chances of getting it there are no greater than getting it here, so….maybe I’ll rethink this before I leave.

Had a recent enough tetanus and diptheria shot so I’m good there. Also, all up on the Hepatitis A and Bs.
Typhoid is serious enough that I went ahead with that one. Also a polio booster -couldn’t see how that would be a bad idea even for home. The fourth one was a meningitis vaccine, if I got that right.

Three in the left arm and the YF in my right arm. I expect they will ache a bit for a couple days. Good excuse to lay off any weightlifting for a bit! Not that I do much of that anyway, but still a good excuse.

I also came home with prescriptions for anti-malarial pills and an antibiotic for Traveler’s Diarhrea.

All this to keep me healthy while in Mali this coming January. I’m heading there to play in the mud! Seriously… the origins of bogolan fini (mud cloth) are believed to be in Mali and I aim to work with some of the local artists there. I do a modified version here at home, but there are too many variables to overcome and I’ve not been able to get as dark a brown/black as they do. I’m hoping that, by knowing firsthand how the process is accomplished (I do know what is written and have heard reports), I may be able to modify my modifications to simulate the authentic process as much as possible and create a product closer to the real thing.

Here’s a pic of one of my pieces using dirts from around the country


and an authentic Mali bogolan fini showing the front and backside


More mudcloth pics can be found on my website, if you are interested.