Surprises in Mali

-- by Nick Crellin --
This trip has been wild. We have visited six cities on three continents. We have used four types of transportation. We are within a pocket of three languages which are spoken around us daily. We are nine individuals, melding into a family!

We are having so much fun. Both on the work site and at home. Our senses are constantly overwhelmed each day. The sheer velocity of our lives ... slowed down. The quote "Everything takes longer in Mali" is a true statement.

What do YOU expect in Africa? Think about that, before continuing ... what would YOU expect if you were heading to Africa tomorrow?

Everyone has a different idea. Each member expected different things. Even this small list, is not enough to explain our experience. You simply have to reside here, to know our experience. But, take a moment and see a few things we have seen.

Biggest Suprises - Direct quotes from team members
The kids chasing us across town during our market visit -- Glenn
The number of local Malian labor works and medical staff -- Nick
The abundance of wireless networks -- Jacob
There is so much more to this trip than just working on a warehouse -- Dave
I was invited into the delivery room and cared for a new born baby -- Lynne
The number of missionaries kids -- Caleb
The total committment and compassion of the missionaries -- Steve

Surprises mentioned by the team
The way of life in the 3 largest cities of Mali
The number of cell phones in use
No spiders and big scary creatures
The passion of the missionaries
The number of American meals we have had here
You can hire a basic laborer for $1.00 a day
You can hire a skilled laborer (brick maker, electrition, welder) for $6.00 a day

A brief commerce exchange
A Coke costs $1.25 (Omaha), $4.50 (Paris), and $1.50 (Koutiala)
A pound of cheese costs $3.00 (Omaha) and $6.00 (Koutiala)
A watermelon costs $5.00 (Omaha) and $1.50 (Koutiala)
A custom tailored shirt costs $75 (Omaha) and $10 (Koutiala)
Doctor/Hospital cost for labor and delivery $10,000 (Omaha) $22 (Koutiala)

Paraphrased quote of the Day - Tim Wright - Mali Field Director
"In Mali, it is more common for a Muslim man to convert to Christianity, before women and children. However, it is the Animism women who are most likely to convert."