Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ariel is a peace corp volunteer and the only toubab I know. She lives in a little Fulani village a few kilometres away, and comes bicycling into Djenn√© every Monday for the market. We tend to end up at the Campement with a beer. I am in awe of Ariel, or Aminata, as the Fulani call her. She has been here six months only, but the amazing creature already speaks fluent Fulani, a very difficult language. She runs an educational nutrition programme amongst the women, teaching them how to augment their diet with very simple inexpensive means, such as for instance the addition of groundnuts to the omnipresent millet. This only costs about 25 CFA per family per day (about two and a half pence) , but many of the women cannot afford it although it can save the children from malnutrition, one of the major reasons for the high infant mortality in Mali. Ariel also appears weekly on a radio programme for the Fulani, and tonight I saw her on her way to the radio station: she is talking about the importance of mosquito nets. Posted by Picasa

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