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Dogon Souvenirs

Throughout my travels in Mali, I did come across a number of souvenir shops and sellers. As you would expect, they were all eager to sell to me. While Mali has never really been a power player when it comes to tourism, prior to the outbreak of the Northern Mali conflict in 2012, there actually were about 200,000 tourists a year visiting Mali.

Read the full blog post: https://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/dogon-souvenirs

#LandOfTheDogons #dogon #mali #souvenir #UNESCO #travel #photography
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Maximum Utilization

I love how ridiculously overloaded these boats get. Whether it's shipping across a river, a short ferry ride, or even a long distance bus, they all seem to get loaded to the max. Let no space go to waste. It's pretty crazy sometimes - like, is everything tied down well? If just one little thing slid a bit, would everything else come crashing into the water?

If you look at the main boat in the center, you can even see a guy relaxing, laying down underneath all those wicker goods! Meanwhile, one of the other boats even has motorcycles on the roof! Like, there wasn't enough space elsewhere to put them, so they just loaded them into the roof of a boat. I guess those motorcycles are on the lighter side, because I can only imagine what it's like to load and unlock them.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/10/21/maximum-utilization

#mopti #mali #freight #cargo #shipping #boats #travel #photography #africa #afrika #afrique #jetty #transportation #vessel #life #adventure #explore #travelphotography #말리
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Dogon Country Village Path

Along the UNESCO World Heritage listed Bandiagara Escarpment are a s string of Dogon villages. While years ago the Dogons and Tellum inhabited them, today people live in villages next to the cliffs. The need for protection from attackers is not the same as it once was.

There are a number of villages within walking distance to each other. This is Africa, so don't except nice roads or sidewalks, but there are some relatively flat paths in some cases. In others, expect some light hiking with the occasional questionable tree-bridge over a crevice or just climbing up rocky paths. In case you're wondering, that's a school on the far left that is a bit shrouded behind the trees.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/9/16/dogon-country-village-path

#LandOfTheDogons #UNESCOWorldHeritageSite #dogon #mali #bandiagara #landscape #travel #dogoncountry #unesco #africa #remote #afrika #afrique #village #travelphotography #explore #adventure #landscapephotography #말리
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Dogon Art In Songo Village

While elsewhere in Africa, there are ancient rock art paintings that can be thousands of years old, these Dogon ones look a little more recent. Especially the ones that resemble electronic devices! Well, they could be something that's entirely different, but since I'm so used to seeing devices with LCDs on them, that's what I see.

This small village is one of several small Dogon villages that hug the Bandiagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The villages themselves are filled with traditional adobe mud-brick homes and granaries, but not all of them have such elaborate rock art.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/8/26/dogon-art-in-songo-village

#songo #village #dogon #LandOfTheDogons #DogonCountry #Mali #Africa #RockArt #art #travel #photography #panorama #panoramic #UNESCOWorldHeritageSite #UNESCO #bandiagara #afrika #afrique #culture #explore #adventure #sonya7rii #travelphotography #말리
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Navigating Dogon Country

The links between the villages in Dogon Country aren't really well developed yet. There's roads, sure, but not really made for cars. Actually, I don't recall seeing many cars at all make their way out there. Camels and cattle though, that's the real help for getting between villages aside from walking on foot or hiking between them.

It's not just Dogon villages, but I think every village I visited in Mali had a sign like the one on the right, or something similar. USAID and/or other foreign aid groups investing in the villages to improve the quality of life for the people. It's nice to see the money at work, although some projects are more beneficial than others. Wells for clean drinking water? Sounds like a good idea. Just need to make sure the people can maintain the well in case it breaks down, otherwise, a new one needs to be built by yet another aid organization.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/8/17/navigating-dogon-country

#DogonCountry #LandOfTheDogons #Mali #mopti #blackandwhite #travel #photography #USAID #Africa #BandiagaraEscarpment #UNESCOWorldHeritageSite #UNESCO #MoptiRegion #travelphotography #afrika #afrique #sonya7rii #blackandwhitephotography #말리
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The Future Of Mali Part 4

Such a contrast at times between the children. Some are have smiles as wide as can be, giggling and happy, and others are quite reserved and quiet. It doesn't mean they're any less happy, but just, seems they learn to behave differently for photos. I'm not quite sure what it is that seems to cause this in Mali.

Nowadays, in the West, it would seem quite odd to go somewhere and see young children spending their day mostly working, but when you're in Mali and other extremely poor countries, it's the norm. It doesn't make it any easier to see how difficult the lives are of these children, but you can always see where the child comes out to play even when working. After all, they're children!

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/7/20/the-future-of-mali-part-4

#djenne #portrait #mali #travel #photography #girls #africans #africa #sonya7rii #explore #adventure #smiles #childrens #kids #afrika #afrique #portraitphotography #travelphotography #말리 #젠네
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Mooving Through Town

It might have a population of 30,000+, but that doesn't mean there won't still be livestock walking through the streets of Djenné. An interesting town to be sure. You can see the effects of modernization slowly unwinding.

There are a lot of traditional practices going on, but at the same time, the density gives way to some slight modernization. Even so, the buildings are nearly all made of mudbricks, retaining Sudanese-style architecture. Poor waste management, like elsewhere in Mali, remains an unsolved problem.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/7/14/mooving-through-town

#djenne #mali #cow #moo #adobe #town #travel #photography #canon #bovine #africa #afrika #afrique #street #travelphotography #traditional #explore #adventure #말리
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Songo Mosque

The first of the villages I visited in Dogon Country was that of Songo. Like many other villages, it has a number of mud-brick buildings (adobe style), including this mosque. The small pieces of wood sticking out, called toron, are used as scaffolding during the annual repairs made to the structure. All mud-brick structures in Mali require annual repairs to fight off the effects of rain and normal wear and tear.

Getting the walk through the villages slowly, is a good opportunity to see how the people live. It's also, a bit repetitive after a while. There are different types of villages - ones that belong to farmers, fisherman, and so on, but generally there is a lot of resemblances across them. Like driving through suburb after suburb in America, they all blend together eventually. If you've never been to the suburbs though, the first few are probably interesting.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/7/6/songo-mosque

#HDR #AuroraHDR #songo #LandOfTheDogons #dogon #mali #mosque #muslim #mud #adobe #toron #travel #landscape #photography #sonya7rii #UNESCOWorldHeritageSite #UNESCO #mopti #travelphotography #landscapephotography #말리
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The Baobab

Foolish me. Showing up in Mali, traveling the country only to be surprised at seeing numerous Baobab trees throughout the southern portion of the country. Little did I know that there are actually nine different species of the Adansonia (Baobab) tree.

When I think of Baobabs, I always think of the Avenue of the Baobabs. A place I've never been to, but is perhaps one of the greatest reasons I want to visit Madagascar. That, and the fact that lemurs are endemic to Madagascar. As it turns out, six of the nine species of Adansonia are endemic to Madagascar.

I find the look of the Baobab to be quite unique. The ones in Mali, while recognizable, are all quite different in appearance. Most of them in Mali were stripped of their leaves for other uses. How the tree survives with its leaves fully plucked off, I don't know. Perhaps they're only 'harvested' once a year or at certain times of the year? This was one of the rare Baobabs I came across that still had its leaves, and fruit too!

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/6/17/the-baobab

#baobab #adansonia #mali #dogoncountry #LandOfTheDogons #UNESCO #UNESCOWorldHeritageSite #nature #landscape #tree #travel #photography #sonya7rii #africa #afrika #afrique #texture #explore #adventure #landscapephotography #travelphotography #말리
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Crowded Ferry

As far as river ferries go, this one seems to be a bit middle-of-the-road. It's not as basic as a boat with an outboard motor, nor as fancy as a several hundred person air-conditioned ferry. It seems fairly well suited to the traffic it needs to handle.

No space is wasted is typically the name of the ferry game. In many parts of the world, the ferry doesn't leave until the boat is full. In this case, the vehicles are parked so close together the drivers can't even get out of the car.

This is the view of the ferry coming towards me. After it unloaded, I got on with my driver and guide. It wasn't as packed as this, but it was still pretty full. A nice, relatively quick ride across the river. Just another day in Africa.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/6/1/crowded-ferry

#mali #africa #mopti #ferry #boat #ship #crowded #crowd #bani #river #truck #car #people #group #transportation #travel #photography #sony #a7rii #travelphotography #afrique #afrika #explore #adventure #말리 #아프리카
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