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06 September 2006

Tragic News Out of Mali

I doubt many of you will hear about this on the news back in the US, but things have been pretty solemn here in Mali the past few days.

This past weekend, 4 Peace Corps Volunteers were sailing on a boat they had built up the Niger River. When docking, their metal boat came into contact with a power line and 2 of the Volunteers were killed. Of the two survivors, one in unharmed and the other is on his way back to the US to be treated for severe burns on his arms. We have not been able to contact people in the US until both families of the deceased had been contacted. Though Michele and I hardly new these 2 guys, a loss is felt by all here in Tubani So. Both were just a few months short of their 'close of service' dates. We had both met Justin a few weeks before when he taught a brief class on how to put our mountain bikes together. Matt neither Michele nor I had met.

The plan is to have training continue on as scheduled mainly because what the Peace Corps does in Mali is so vitally important to the communities here. Michele and I spent the past few days in classes at Tubani So and will be returning to our homestay villages tomorrow morning. I had hoped to be able to reach a phone today to call home, but I'm afraid I will have to wait for the cabine in Sanankoroba (who has ever heard of a place that has internet but no public phone!)

Anyways, most of the PCV from all across the country were in Bamako yesterday for the funeral. Not sure when they will be heading back, but Michele and I leave tomorrow.

I love everyone back home - Michele and I are safe and still in high spirits about our stay here.

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