||K'an b'U fo (Greet the People): a Mali Journal|
Having been a volunteer with Canadian Crossroads International (CCI) in Canada since September 1993, I went on an education placement to Mali, West Africa from September 1994 to March 1995. Although Crossroads' placements are in areas of "development" (health, education, infrastructure and agriculture), the work serves mainly as a starting-point for cultural exchange. Though I worked little as a tutor and teacher's aide, I lived with the Tall family of Bandiagara, and shared in many aspects of their life within the community.
With thanks to new kin and old friends, to the whole family, I dedicate this to my adoptive brother and mother, Madani and Gogo, who accepted me, a stranger, as a brother and son. Also to my parents, whom the Bambara call "bangebangaw": "life-givers".
K'an ni here be [Bambara]. That we and peace be as one.
Jonathan Sears, January 1997