Finally, New Years capped what seemed to be a marathon of holidays starting with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas – sure, they’re spread out over two months but they strung together like a never-ending procession of fêtes. While each one is individually fun and a great opportunity to catch up with distant volunteers, they also tend to be cumulatively draining with a sense of relief accompanying their termination. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with other volunteers and celebrating our holidays but being that I’m placed in the regional capital, the “celebrations” tend to drag on to the entire week (or longer) in which they occur and make it hard for me to step back into my work and life in Segou with Malians. This is not to say that once these festivities finished I was able to do this but…
So – New Years: various regions tend to compete for hosting the various holidays and Segou staked its claim on the 31st of December. PCVs came from as far away as Gao, Kayes, Sikasso, and
Of course, my claimed ability to jump back into work and life with Malians after all the holidays would have wait a bit longer – my family arrived on the 6th of January. The preceding months had seen many calls and emails back and forth with my family – ironing out as many details as is possible to a West African country, which is a scant few. With their visit coinciding with the final preparations and lead up to Segou’s biggest tourism event of the year – The Festival sur le Niger at the beginning of February – I had also been working hard to allow myself to step out of the fold of things while traveling with my family.
I’ll leaving you hanging here and write you a full account of their trip for the next post. Y’all come back now ya hear!