Things in Mali move a lot slower than you would expect. I have learned that I need to budget at least double what I think an activity will take and then slow my pace down so that I don’t burn myself out and everyone is on the same page. When you are working with language barriers, cultural differences, and a pretty steep learning curve things just don’t move as quickly as you think they should. Things do run smoothly, and people do work hard to get the job done but we have to do it all inshallah (in Allah’s will).
I am learning a lot about persistence that I don’t think I could learn any other way. My life in Canada was about finding efficiency and conveniences that made jobs easier and faster. Computers, appliances, apps, etc. all in an attempt to maximize my time to get 1,000 things accomplished in the fastest way possible. Now I have to dedicate myself to every task at hand. Balancing a million priorities and giving each one as much attention as I can muster until the job is done. Malians have acclimatized to how long things can take and their persistence and determination is really admirable. I hope that I learn and really internalize more of the communal and beautiful culture here.
All the love,