Hi! I’m Anna. I started my cross cultural life in 2008 with language school in Quebec and then a move to the Republic of Congo. April 15 may remind you of taxes, but it will always remind me of the day I arrived in Mali, where I now live with my husband and three children. My husband works at the Koutiala Women and Children’s Hospital, and I homeschool my kids.
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The day starts with early morning exercise while it’s still cool. I bike or walk six mornings a week from 6AM-7AM. We always have to wear long skirts, and I’ve learned to ride a bike without getting it caught in the gears. Not pictured: My friend and I bike on one of the few paved roads, that happens to pass the army base. This morning, we went through groups of soldiers out for their morning exercise five different times. We decided we need a new route!
After a quick shower, it’s time to make the kids breakfast. Oatmeal is one of the things that is always available. We have sugar cubes, because the stores were out of sugar granules. The mug is a reminder of my years spent in Montana, and it travels the world with me.
We squeeze in a quick walk with Ebony, our puppy, before school. She’s getting bigger every day, which is good since she will be our guard dog.
At 8AM, it’s time for another day of world schooling. It’s what we call school since home is always changing, but we take school with us wherever we go. On weekdays, school takes up most of our morning and afternoon.
While we are doing school, our cook is busy preparing lunch. She does marketing in the morning, bakes bread, cooks our lunch, and cleans up before she goes home. It’s nice to have someone to mop my kitchen floor every day
After lunch, my husband and I headed over to our rental house. It’s about 7 kilometers away, and takes 10-20 minutes and nerves of steel. Traffic laws are really just mild suggestions, and people are all over the road. We share to road with pedestrians, various animals, and vehicles of all sizes- from mopeds to semi-trucks. The key is to stay alert and keep moving forward.
Where the paved road ends, things get really interesting. Due to the rainy season, the road is washed out in places, and has huge potholes across the entire road in other spots. I affectionally call this section of the road “Death Valley.”
Our rental house was supposed to be ready at the beginning of June, and now it is almost finished. We’ve been living in guest housing while we wait. This week we are moving our things in hoping that the last few windows will be in, and the water and electricity will be mostly functioning by the end of the week. The well has been dug, solar panels and a solar powered pump installed, and we are wired for electricity. Today Caleb moved his toy animals in and introduced them to his new home. These have traveled with him from the US to Congo to the US to Mali.
Our house is behind a wall for security. We will also have day and night guards and a guard dog. Security and theft are problems where we live. It does feel claustrophobic at times.
These kids who live around the corner from our guest house always want their picture taken. I’m happy to oblige. There are times when I miss stores like Walmart and Target and easy, one-stop shopping. On the other hand, you don’t get the same relationships as you do at neighborhood stores here.
We ended the day with dinner with friends at our neighborhood restaurant. We started outside, but had to move in when a big rainstorm came. It was lost of fun, and a good way to end a busy day!