I arrived into the town of San, Mali in the late afternoon. I immediately headed to the center of town as I was curious to see San’s Grand Mosque, which is a beautiful Sudanese style earthen building, plastered entirely by hand. There, I bumped into a small group of very friendly kids who were very curious about this foreign woman walking past their mosque with camera in hand. They followed me around, curious about my every move. After a while, one approached me to take a photo of the group. I gladly did so, motioning them to stand front of the mosque. Of course, they wanted to see the photo I had just snapped. As they huddled around me, I turned my camera to preview mode. The moment they saw their images, they broke out into very animated chatter and laughter. They were so cute! They seemed interested in the photo so I scrolled through some of the ones I had taken on trips to other countries. As the images passed before their eyes, there was silence at times because they were images that I was certain they were seeing for the very first time. Other photos elicited questions, which I attempted to answer as best I could in my broken French. Next thing you know, more kids had gathered around. By now, I wish I had a larger preview screen on my camera. Before I knew it, it was time for me to leave and I waved the kids goodbye. Every time I look at this photo, it brings back warm memories of a special travel moment for me.
By Julee K., AFAR Local Expert