I lived in Bamako for around 5 months as part of a UN deployment to a peacekeeping mission. It was my first time in a Sub-saharan African nation and a stark contrast to the Buddhist-Communist Laos I had just exited.
Evangeline, (pictured above) was one of the many friends and saints I met locally. I procured a traditional Lao skirt known as a sinh for her, as it was reminiscent of the African skirt in terms of the way both were worn (like a sarong).
I experienced the good, the bad and the ugly whilst residing there. Ebola was on the verge of outbreak in the region, and there were recurring attacks taking place in the north. I avoided isolation by making local friends and learning about local places and customs.