For those of you not on the up and up with news of the political climate in Mali--and let's be honest, most of you couldn't point to it on a map before hearing that I was going there--the government has fallen. Actually it fell awhile ago to a military coup. Apparently the military was unhappy with the way the old dogs were handling the rebellion going on in the north (yes, there has been a rebellion going on for awhile too; the Peace Corps were pretty much fine with that). They took power for themselves and promised to give it back whenever they solved the whole crisis in the Saharan. Naturally, the rebels took the opportunity to do some remodeling and housing expansion.
The Peace Corps has done a lovely job of keeping me informed, at least post decision to withdraw. Their main concern has been the 160 volunteers on the ground in Mali for the past couple weeks. I'll allow it. There has been no real fear of violence after the first day or so of the coup and no shooting since outside of the no travel zones far in the north. Well away from where the Peace Corps operates; they stay clear of any conflict areas. While there is no conflict in the south, the Peace Corps has decided that, since the political situation is so unstable, they will be pulling out.
Blah, blah, blah politics per usual in Africa. What does this mean for the one you care most about? Well, for starters, congratulations are in order for a sufficiently vague blog title! I liked to tell myself it was elegant in its simplicity. Now it is just damn practical. The Peace Corps is committed to reassigning me elsewhere. I probably won't be doing water sanitation work as it sounds like they don't have any more openings in that area for the time being. The real downside to all of this (aside from some ill-purchased books on the culture and history of Mali) is that I won't be leaving until sometime in September.
Any ideas on some summer work?
Will keep you all posted with any tantalizing details as soon as I hear 'em.