Saturday, January 11th, 2014
We woke up bright and early for a a road-trip east to Dioila and later to the nearby village of Wacoro. After about 3 hours of expert driving by Cheick Bane we made it to the small town of Dioila. Luckily for us it was market day so we set out exploring to see what types of materials are available that we could utilize for the project. Just about anything could be found in the market from food, clothing and other household items to motorcycle parts, oil barrels, and even blacksmiths and welders making custom items. We found many eyes were upon us as we walked through the market but they were friendly eyes, always smiling and waving. Joe found himself a new friend.
After lunch in Dioila the team made their way to Wacoro. There we meet with men’s and women’s farming groups. We were able to attain great information from the farmers that will be very helpful for the project. Fanta Camara (the Malian name for Dr. Camille George) was quite the star as she hit it off with the women’s group. The villagers treated us to a dinner of rice with sauce and vegetables that we ate in traditional Malian fashion, all gathered around big bowls scooping out the food with our hands. We made camp in their village where we were going to stay the night. The students also got the chance to meet some children and play a bit of soccer.