Sunday, January 27, 2008

Today we leave Bamako. It’s been an amazing two years. I won’t miss the heat, the mosquitoes, or the traffic, but I will miss the people. Allyson’s colleagues at the embassy have shown us every kindness, and the Malians we’ve come to know are, simply put, some of the friendliest people we’ve ever met. We will miss them all.

We’ll also miss our big house with the swimming pool.

We leave for the airport tonight at nine. The cats won’t be happy. But – inshallah – we will all arrive in Washington early tomorrow afternoon.

If you ever get the chance, visit Mali. It’s wonderful, vibrant, chaotic, and warm (in all meanings of the word). This has been an extraordinary experience. We will miss this place.

But I am looking forward to winter in America.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Simply crossing the street in Bamako can be an exercise in peril. When our friends Phil Johnston and Jill Cordes came to visit us, Phil shot this video of the four of us crossing a street not too far from our house.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Before we started packing for the move today, Allyson and I made a video tour of our house in Bamako for my mom and dad:

Monday, January 07, 2008

After nearly two years in Mali, Allyson and I finally made it up to Timbuktu last weekend. It was a whirlwind visit. We flew up on Saturday to meet our friends Phil and Jill. (It’s a two-and-a-half hour flight, including a stop in Mopti.) Our flight was a few hours late (long story), so we barely had time to take a camel ride out into the Sahara before sunset. It was a lot of fun, but my camel was ornery and nearly threw me off once!

After that, we took a quick tour of the city. There wasn’t much happening in Timbuktu. The narrow, sandy streets were dark and very quiet. Our guide managed to find somebody to open the museum for us, and we were able to get our passports stamped at the tourist office (a nice souvenir). After the tour we met Phil and Jill for dinner at a wonderful open-air restaurant (La Maison). The four of us flew back early Sunday morning. Phil and Jill flew back to New York early this morning.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

While Googling myself recently (no jokes, please), I stumbled upon this article, which references another Matthew Algeo.

Three-year-old Matthew Algeo of Cincinnati joins Canadian auto mechanic Matthew Algeo, Florida college student Matthew Algeo, and yours truly as the world’s only known Matthew Algeos – known to me, at least.

It would be really cool if we all got together sometime.