Brooke Garnett’s Images from Mali

  • My two traveling companions and I started our three-week trip to Mali in Djenne. Djenne is the oldest known city in sub-Saharan Africa; it is located on an island between the Bani and Niger rivers. On Monday, visitors can stop by the weekly market, where merchants have walked for days to sell their fruit, vegetables, and fabrics. We arrived in Djenne toward the end of the dry season and the Bani River was almost completely dry. I love the color of this boy's outfit against the background.
  • On Fridays in Djenne, everyone goes to the mosque - in fact, the Djenne Mosque is the largest mud brick (also called adobe) building in the world and Djenne's most famous sight. The mosque was originally built around the 13th century but the current structure dates from 1907.
  • Most Malians spend a good portion of their early years attached to their mother's backs. It's amazing to watch the women going about their daily tasks and the babies sleeping or watching the activity from their comfortable spot.
  • In April, Mali is extremely dry, which brings out the most gorgeous hues of orange and yellow in the landscape. It is much different in the rainy season, when it is completely green -- I can't wait to go back and see it like that!
  • Children strolling down an alley in Djenne.
  • I was very happy with how this photo turned out - the vibrant colors captured in the reflection of a motorbike side mirror
  • From Djenne, we headed to the Dogon Country. We did a 3-night trek through the Bandiagara Escarpment, stopping to visit villages along the way and sleeping on the roofs of people's homes. Here is a picture of a young boy napping next to the toguna, the central meeting place for the village.
  • We met this delivery boy at the top of the Bandiagara Escarpment and helped him strap wood to the back of his bicycle.
  • Here is a picture of me relaxing on the pinasse (boat) we took on the Niger River. It was great to have several days to enjoy the breeze and see the villages, horses, cows and other boats as we floated along the river.
  • There were also plenty of hippos enjoying a refreshing dip.
  • We stopped in some villages on our trip up the Niger River to Timbuktu. The kids were all very friendly and curious about us - they came up to our boat and wanted us to play.
  • After three days on the boat, we were very excited to arrive in Timbuktu! While there, we rode camels into the desert to visit some Tuareg villages. I was completely amazed that the traditional salt trade still exists - traders spend months transporting salt by camel across the Sahara Desert.
  • I was astounded by the beauty of the people we encountered. We met this woman in a village that we visited on our camel ride. In fact, she thought I would look good with some eyeliner like hers, so she used a metal stick and charcoal to put some make-up on me!
  • The last stop of our trip was in Mali's capital city, Bamako. We were lucky enough to attend a soccer game when we were there: Mali vs. Tunisia. "Mali, Mali," the crowd chanted enthusiastically, rooting for their country - I loved that! We cheered for Mali, too, because we had grown so fond of the country on our trip.
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