As I have written about earlier in this blog, in 1980 while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa, I suffered a blow to my rear end during a motorcycle accident.  This wound abscessed, then developed into a fistula-in-anal* which threatened my life....

The children were shy when I first moved into the village, but soon they came by often to visit.  When they showed up in my courtyard I bent down and shook their little hands one by one.  I said hello to each, and other little pleasantries in English.  It would have be...

When I moved into my little mudbrick house in the village to which I was assigned in Mali, West Africa, I brought drawing supplies for children because I thought mothers would bring their children when they visited me and I wanted something fun to welcome them with.  A...

United States Peace Corps volunteers typically travel to see the world before their assignment in country, during their assignment, and/or afterward.  But I was so intent on doing something for the pitiful people in the little village to which I had been assigned that...

I remember one period in my life when I would treat myself to a new coin each week from a small, local coin dealer.  The owner showed me which coins had the least blemishes and how to discern fraud from fancy.  He sold me beautiful silver dollars and such for curiously...

A friend of mine in Mali collected postage stamps from around the world, and when he said he was going to the Bamako post office to get some from Mali, I asked him to get some for me too.  When he came back from the post office he gave me all of these wonderful, colorf...

The capital of Mali, West Africa is Bamako*.  In 1980 it was built of mud-brick buildings, some of which were faced with cheap crumbling concrete.  There were some sewers running along streets in better neighborhoods, they were open drainage ditches of unspeakable filt...

I usually do not buy girly things because I prefer standard issue upon which to establish my own creativity and art.  But this twinkly pink pen caught my eye and as it was only a dollar I bought it to put in the plastic pocket of my briefcase to add a touch of feminini...

When I first moved into my very small mudbrick house with a wattle and mud roof, and a packed mud floor that the US Peace Corps had rented for me in my assigned village of thirty some identical very small mudbrick houses, the first wife of the village chief shyly stopp...