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Monday, September 8, 2008

Home Stay is Finished

My time in Tamala has come to end after just over two months. I spend a week back here at Tubaniso before swearing in as an official Peace Corp Volunteer on Friday at the American Embassy in Bamako. The embassy itself is an ostentatious eye sore on the outskirts of Bamako. It is large, marble and easily visible from miles off. They have a phenomenal football/soccer field where X-Pats meet numerous times a week for a wide array of American athletic activities. My home stay pals and I made the 30 km jump up to the Embassy last Sunday for the flag football verses the marines, only to discover that was the first Sunday the football had ever been canceled. This actually in some ways ended up being a blessing in disguise, as we were able to enjoy a leisurely breakfast, weren't stuck carrying sweaty clothes all over Bamako for a day, and could immediately begin the most important task of the day: going to the tailor to have our suits made for swear. The four Tamala boys, John, Joel, Lucas and myself, all made the decision to skip the typical traditional Malian garb, normally purchased by future PCV for the swear in ceremony, and were measured for matching three piece suits that without any question will make us look like the best men of some prestigious X-pat. Modeled after a picture our one female Tamala volunteer, Monica, had in an US Weekly of Brangelina, standing next to Jolie in nothing less than Versace or Prada, Pitt looks dashing and sophisticated. While we were told that we were engaging the services of the the most accomplished Malian tailor in Bamako, I have a sneaky suspicion that more than likely we will end up looking more like David Byrne in Stop Making Sense. Soon the jury will be in the as we travel to Bamako today to pick up the suits. All in all, they are running us around $70 or 35,000 CFA. I'll pick it up today after a supply chain session on chicken production in Mali.