Archive for February, 2010
Here’s this weeks 5 notes, sung by Madelaine:
Answer to last weeks TT: Consider Yourself, from Oliver.
And the winner was Jennifer Anderson – well done Jen!
Visit the Luna Park!
Bamako’s answer to Alton Towers, the Luna Park has some fun rides for all the family (and some lethal-looking ones too!)
Of course, it is considerably more ‘down market’ than any theme park I’ve been to in Europe, but still fun! We especially enjoyed the dodgems – or bumper cars, which is a better name because you are actually allowed to bump here! There was also a fun ride which went round in circles and you could press a button to move up or down!
However, the merry-go-round (or terror-go-round) was an ‘unforgettable experience’ (top right photo). It seemed to have only one speed: very fast, and the seats swung out at about a 45 degree angle. Finally, it went on for what felt like an age. My daughter threw up after going on it, and I felt dizzy for quite a while! Kind of fun, but not for the faint-hearted!
To see the Luna Park on Tim’s Bamako map, click here.
The park opens around 4:00pm and is worth a visit (but don’t blame me for any injury/discomfort/trauma suffered during your trip!) There are loads of nice photos of the park here and an article in French (showing the park packed out to capacity) here.
Of course, the Luna Park reminded us of “Magicland” in Cotonou (blogged about here) and, whilst that one was newer and therefore less run down, I think that the Luna Park has as much to offer in different ways.
Thanks for reading!
I was recently in Southern Mali, working with the Jo people and had the privilege of recording the instrument you see above. Underneath the wooden bars hang several gourds; these serve as resonators to amplify the sound of the instrument. Ingenious!
Here’s what it sounded like:
Great sound and a lovely instrument! However, it may come as a surprise to you if I tell you that this is by no means an indigenous instrument for the Jo people. What you see here is the kind of balafon played by the Bambara. The Jo have their own balafon, known as the saba, but for the time being, churches are not playing it – maybe one day…
Time for a lesson from one of our timeless pioneers in the field of ethnodoxology: Roberta King, who worked with the Nyarafolo (Senufo) in northern Cote d’Ivoire and successfully reclaimed their balafon. The local folks decided to use only their local percussion instruments because (she says):
“They claimed this provided a truly indigenous sound and an authentic rhythm that fit the message of their song […] Such a sophisticated development came only after many years of working together toward worship songs that would speak meaningfully to them.”
Wow! So there’s hope for me yet then! Download and read Roberta’s full article here – it’s very interesting.
Here you go (again, sung by Micah) –
Last week’s TT was the Indiana Jones theme. Here it is:
And the winner was Sophie Dann – well done Sophie (who are you?)!
I LOVE looking at this blog’s statistics now and again…
For example, the counter says that I’ve had 2,814 visitors from the UK, 2,543 from the USA, 201 from Canada, 79 from Mali and 70 from Benin! I wonder who they are and why they visit?
Well, below are some clues as to why people visit this blog. Here are the main search phrases and their percentages:
Which is the only king in a modern standard pack of
Fascinating! Apparently, the king without a moustache question rates fifth in the world out of about 44,000!!! (And all because of this trivia question!)
The following have also been searched, but less often:
Cotonou market photos (1.8 %)
Thanks to Reggie for sending me those – I hope you all found them interesting!
Here it is, sung this week my Micah:
Answer to last week’s TT: “The A Team” here’s the full version:
And the winner was Anne Anderson – well done Anne!
At the end of an average day in Bamako, THIS is what the Baker family looks like:
And, no, we don’t even walk around bare-footed! The main reason is the dust and dirt everywhere and the fact that it’s cooler and more comfortable to wear sandals. Mind you, we do take our shoes off indoors, so the dust on the floor is bound to have an effect on our feet, even if it is washed regularly.
THANKFULLY, our bathroom is equipped with a bidet which – rather than being used for its designed function – provides a handy foot-wash before bed time!
Visit the zoo!
Now, I must confess I was dubious about visiting the place; I’d been to other African zoos and generally not been impressed by the conditions (of the animals and how they’re kept). However, I was pleasantly surprised by Bamako zoo, which was well laid out and with a good range of animals to see. AND…they were all still alive!!
Okay, I admit that they’re not kept in conditions comparable with many European zoos, but after seeing Cotonou’s attempt at a zoo (ie a donkey, a sad-looking lion and two pots full of snakes), it really wasn’t all that bad. Here’s a list (from memory) of animals we saw:
They even used to have manatees, but their pool is now empty. The guys at the zoo assured me more manatees were ‘on order’ and would arrive soon!
However, a relatively new addition was the baby elephant, which the kids loved:
Click here for another blogger’s description of Bamako Zoo and here for a couple more nice photos of the place. The best thing was the entry fee: 50cfa per person (that’s about 8 pence!) Mind you, to enter the elephant enclosure, we had to pay an extra 500. T.I.A.!!!
There never used to be a palm tree on the corner of the riverbank road in Badalabougou. Until last week, that is!
Hmmm…strange! This rare specimen of tree can be easily seen from the New Bridge and has a curiously straight trunk and very uniform branches.
As I was looking at it and taking my photos, a local guy told me it was an ‘Orange’ tree. I didn’t know they grew those in Mali (but I can at least hope for a clearer signal on my phone next time I cross the river, eh?!)
Here it is folks:
(Facebookers, click here )
Answer to last week’s TT: “In the Mood” by Glenn Miller. Here’s the full version:
And the winner was Reggie Thompson (whoever he is!!!)