We had a great, successful trip to Mali this month. Ten of us traveled from Kansas City and California to help at a primary school in the small village of Dagabo and at Dr. Oumar's Clinique Paix in the town of Oulessebougou. Ibrahima helped organize the mission from the Mali end and was our lead translator. His ability to understand meaning and nuance and not just words across multiple languages and cultures is astounding. I haven't seen the final numbers but know that Tammy and I saw in the range of 320 patients and did about 30 surgeries. We all learned a lot and had experiences that we bring back to share and to help make the world a little bit smaller and more peaceful.
I was able to have a couple of meetings with Ibrahima during the week about Grace Private School in Koro. Although I wasn't able to visit the school (remember that Koro is at least 16 hours by bus to the east of Bamako), he did leave me with lots of pictures and several short movies. I was able to get a better feel for where the school stands and what the future may hold. Communication with the outside world is so poor out of Koro. Texting is about our only means of communication throughout the year so it was nice to be able to have full conversations. As I have time to meet with the other board members and brainstorm and dream we will give more information about exciting plans for the school.
Some of us had put together supplies from Ibrahima's wish list and I was able to bring these things to him. It was enough to fill a suitcase. Four new soccer balls, big maps, lots of pens, clothes, hard candy, and printer ink cartridges. He told me that there are only two color printers in all of Koro. One is at the World Vision office and the other is at Grace Private School. He said that people in town are amazed when they see color copies with new up-to-date information. The six black and white and two color cartridges will be enough to last a year. Solar panels provide the power for the computer and printer at the school.
Thank you all for your interest, your prayers, and your contributions towards the spiritual and academic education of these precious children.