Merry Christmas from the Muslim World

Though I’m not finished chronicling my time in Ghana, here’s an update: I’m currently in Bamako, Mali, and aside from a few regaling expats, no one seems particularly aware that it’s Christmas. Ok,. that’s a lie. I’m currently staying with a Cameroonian family. They’re Christians, so I’ve managed to find a somewhat authentic way to celebrate Christmas here. I miss my family though. Still, I can’t help but marvel at the lack of shopping mall Christmas music, which is pretty nice. For the first time in my life, I’ve managed to miss out on the entire holiday season. Muzak renditions of Little Drummer Boy have been replaced by griots, catchy but generic Ghanaian hiplife harmony has been replaced by meandering, melismatic Wassoulou melodies.

In Accra, I’m sure people are celebrating heartily: going to church, dancing, eating inhumanly spicy things with large rodents (believe it or not, it’s delicious). Do I feel like I left Ghana a little too early? Maybe. But I’m alive and happy in Mali, my soundtrack is much more up my alley, and it’s not too hot to sleep at night. And for that, I’m thankful.

In the meantime, here are a few selected photos from my time in Mali. More to come.

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