Taken on the Niger River somewhere in between Mopti and Timbuktu, Mali.
This one from the top of the boat, or pinasse (I’ll explain that in a future post). Maybe the “safest”, if not the overall best place to stay on a trip up the Niger River. Why the safest? …you see the kids in the villages along the Niger River, and you’ll know what I mean. Ever have a 50 Lb. ball of smiling, almost always naked, energy flying at you at a full force run… You’ll see. Not dangerous, per say, but a kid who doesn’t have a toy and knows that: boat full of people = toy …toy being an empty plastic bottle. Holy Smackatoly. A few hippos in the way …they don’t care. Seriously. They do not care. This shot taken from above as three of these “balls of energy” lunge into the pinasse to “explain why they should get the empty bottles”. One of the fondest memories of my trip through Mali. The kids are, simply, awesome, for lack of a better word. Balls of energy ready to explode into full sprint at the slightest hint of fun. …here they have launched themselves out of the water like three crazy dolphins, and nothing is going to stop them from acquiring a few toys before they hop back in the water.
March 5, 2008