A Look into Mali, West Africa

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A Look into Mali, West Africa

It was the day after move-in-day during fall semester 2002. I was a freshman at St. Cloud State University and new in the dorms. I was mulling around looking for something to do when I saw some guys playing pool in the activity lounge. I went in and introduced myself. This was the first time I met Kenny Kane, a Foreign exchange student from Mali, West Africa. We “hung out” in the dorms periodically through out the year, but when school was over I returned to Wisconsin and we lost touch. Then in the fall of 2003, as a way to get the ball rolling on our final paper for English 191, we were asked to interview a foreign exchange student and learn about were they come from. So I found out were Kenny was living, and asked him if he wouldn’t mind it if I interviewed him about his home land. He was more than happy to help me out and let me know everything about his home country of Mali, West Africa and so began my journey learning about this diverse country.

Mali is the largest country located in West Africa, but also the most indigent and the fourth poorest country in the world. Mali is landlocked being surrounded by seven other countries: Algeria, Ivory Coast, Niger, Burkina, Faso, Senegal, and Mauritania. Through my interview with Kenny Kane I found that the climate is very hot and dry. Mali basically has 2 seasons, dry and rainy. During the dry season, which occurs from February to June, the temperatures are regularly over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The little rain it does get comes during the months June and October (Ryan). I found on the CIA’s website that Mali is divided into three main “natural zones”: the southern, which is “cultivated Sudanese,” the central, is “semiarid Sahelian,” ...

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