List of resources for Mali

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Following is a list of websites for additional information about the Peace Corps and Mali and to connect you to returned Volunteers and other invitees. Although we try to make sure all these links are active and current, we cannot guarantee it. If you do not have access to the Internet, visit your local library. Libraries offer free Internet usage and often let you print information to take home.

A note of caution: As you surf the Internet, be aware that you may find bulletin boards and chat rooms in which people are free to express opinions about the Peace Corps based on their own experiences, including comments by those who were unhappy with their choice to serve in the Peace Corps. These opinions are not those of the Peace Corps or the U.S. government, and we hope you will keep in mind that no two people experience their service in the same way.

General Information About Mali
The U.S. State Department’s website issues background notes periodically about countries around the world. Find Mali and learn more about its social and political history.
This online world atlas includes maps and geographical information, and each country page contains links to other sites, such as the Library of Congress, that contain comprehensive historical, social, and political background.
This site provides an additional source of current and historical information about 228 countries.
CIA factbook pages on Mali.
Web site of the U.S. Embassy in Bamako, Mali.
USAIDs website containing information about their various activities in Mali.
BBC News country profile about Mali; contains links to current news concerning Mali.
Web site for the Malian Ministry of Culture

Language Resources

Overview of the Bambara language and its history on Wikipedia.

U.S. Peace Corps Bambara Course
A survival course in Bambara with an ebook and audio made by the Peace Corps.

Connect with Returned Volunteers and Other Invitees
This is the site of the National Peace Corps Association, made up of returned Volunteers. On this site you can find links to all the Web pages of the “friends of” groups for most countries of service, made up of former Volunteers who served in those countries. There are also regional groups who frequently get together for social events and local Volunteer activities.
This site is known as the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Web Ring. Browse the Web ring and see what former Volunteers are saying about their service.
This site is hosted by a group of returned Volunteer writers. It is a monthly online publication of essays and Volunteer accounts of their Peace Corps service.
Join to stay in touch with current and former Mali Volunteers and their families
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer group dedicated to promoting an understanding of the people and culture of Mali and supporting the Peace Corps’ third goal—to bring the world back home—by encouraging members to share their experiences with their own communities.

Online Articles/Current News Sites About Mali
University of Pennsylvania page with links to other sites of interest
A University of Iowa site set up by former Burkina Faso Volunteer Christopher Roy, an expert on Voltaic masks
An informative site with links to a variety of resources

International Development Sites
Information on the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
World Health Organization

Recommended Books

  1. Bingen, R. James, et al. (eds.). Democracy and Development in Mali. Ann Arbor: Michigan State University, 2000.
  2. Chilson, Peter. Riding the Demon: On the Road in West Africa. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1999.
  3. Dettwyler, Katherine. Dancing Skeletons: Life and Death in West Africa. Prospect Heights, Ill.: Waveland Press, 1994.
  4. Else, David, et al. Lonely Planet West Africa. Oakland, Calif.: Lonely Planet, 2002.
  5. Eyre, Banning. In Griot Time: An American Guitarist in Mali. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2000.
  6. Holloway, Kris. Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 2006.
  7. Hollyman, Stephenie, and Walter E.A. van Beek. Dogon: Africa’s People of the Cliffs. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2001.
  8. Imperato, Pascal James. Legends, Sorcerers, and Enchanted Lizards: Door Locks of the Bamana of Mali. New York: Holmes and Meier, 2001.
  9. Lieve, Joris. Mali Blues: Traveling to an African Beat. Translated by Sam Garrett. Oakland, Calif.: Lonely Planet, 1998.
  10. Lucke, Lewis W. Waiting for Rain: Life and Development in Mali, West Africa. Hanover, Mass.: Christopher Publishing House, 1998. A memoir by a former USAID employee who served in Mali in the early 1980s - he is now head of the USAID mission in Iraq. This is what Mali was like before email and reliable phones.
  11. McLean, Virginia. The Western Saharans. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1980.
  12. Lawder, Donald. Fishing in the Sky: The Education of Namory Keita. NY: Permanent Press, 1997. A book by a senior Volunteer and poet who chose to remain in Mali after his service had ended.
  13. Packer, George. The village of waiting. New York: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, 2001. A memoir by a Togo RPCV whose reflections on his relationships with his village and host family are worth reading for any volunteer in Africa.

Books About the History of the Peace Corps

  1. Hoffman, Elizabeth Cobbs. All You Need is Love: The Peace Corps and the Spirit of the 1960’s. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000.
  2. Rice, Gerald T. The Bold Experiment: JFK’s Peace Corps. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1985.
  3. Stossel, Scott. Sarge: The Life and Times of Sargent Shriver. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2004.

Books on the Volunteer Experience

  1. Dirlam, Sharon. Beyond Siberia: Two Years in a Forgotten Place. Santa Barbara, Calif.: McSeas Books, 2004.
  2. Casebolt, Marjorie DeMoss. Margarita: A Guatemalan Peace Corps Experience. Gig Harbor, Wash.: Red Apple Publishing, 2000.
  3. Erdman, Sarah. Nine Hills to Nambonkaha: Two Years in the Heart of an African Village. New York, N.Y.: Picador, 2003.
  4. Hessler, Peter. River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze. New York, N.Y.: Perennial, 2001.
  5. Kennedy, Geraldine ed. From the Center of the Earth: Stories out of the Peace Corps. Santa Monica, Calif.: Clover Park Press, 1991.
  6. Thompsen, Moritz. Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle. Seattle, Wash.: University of Washington Press, 1997 (reprint).