by Izla Kaya Bardavid
Just by the shore of river Niger this magical country rises up in the middle of a vast desert landscape. I've had the privilege to visit Mali three times, experienced the fantastic culture and the company of beautiful people.
My last visit was just before the tragic military coup beginning of 2012. The last year has been tough for the people in Mali as they suffered from instability caused by hunger crisis, drought and insecurity.
Despite the recent turbulence, I must say Mali is one of the most incredible and amazing places I visited. During my last trip, as I was visiting development projects, I really got a taste of Malian hospitality. I was given three chickens, kilos of peanuts, beautiful traditional cloth, lots of papayas, cabbage, eggplants…and a sheep from a village chief! All of it was from people who hardly have food for the day. What a generosity and selflessness!
Mali will always have a special place in my heart.
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