Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Diafarabe Cattle Crossing

Finally! I'm posting an entry!

Sorry for being MIA for the last while - not too much been going on here/I just haven't gotten around to writing anything. Regardless, I recently went up to Diafarabe (about a 4 hour drive north of Segou on some back roads) where there is a huge cattle crossing every year. Essentially the rainy season is long over and the herders (mostly from the ethnic group 'Phuls') cross the Niger River from North to South searching for pasture. I missed this last year and couldn't pass the last minute opportunity to go this time! The problem is they never set the exact date until the day or two before the crossing and given you need a private 4x4 to get there I'd pretty much written off my chances of getting there. Lucky for me, the day before a group of Americans from the US Embassy came up to Segou to spend the night before heading out to Diafarabe early the next morning. Two other volunteers hitched rides up from Bamako and hooked me up with the last spot in one of the cars. Mind you, they found out about the extra seat around 10pm Friday and the cars were planning to set off at 6am the next morning! So, after a short night sleep and some quick preparations I was off...

The photos pretty much tell the story but one of the great things for me was just being around all the Puhls. In Segou pretty much everyone is Bambara but few Puhls. Puhls have a very distinct look so that I can usually pick them out of a crowd. Plus they were all completely decked out in their nicest outfits as the photos can attest. Luckily Ariel, one of the PCVs that came along, used to live in a Puhl speaking village and got us along just fine. And without further ado... the photos. I finally got around to adding captions to my photos and will hopefully do so from now on. Enjoy!

If the slideshow doesn't work or to view full screen, click here:
Diafarabe Cattle Crossing

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