Monday, April 15, 2013

a new york state of mind

 As our bus was pulling into the city I tugged on Abdoulaye's arm and squealed 'Look!!!' as I pointed to the skyline of lights.  Our bus continued on and Abdoulaye looked as we passed the same lights.  "It looks like a factory," he said.  Turns out he was right and my New York excitement was a little premature.

However, our excitement was not premature to see Kira and Sidi, a Peace Corps friend from Mali and her husband, who were waiting for us at the Bolt bus stop on 33rd and 7th.  Sidi took our suitcase and Kira led the way home where saga saga, a traditional Malian dish, waited for us on the stove.  Such a treat!
On Friday, I presented at the NYU International Education Conference on the single-teacher school in Mali while the rest of the gang hung out and visited the city a bit.  It was a thrill to be surrounded by folks passionate about international education and to learn more about other graduate students doing research on such a wide range of topics.  

Saturday, Kira walked Abdoulaye and me to the Circle Line pier and shopped while waiting for our tour to end (she hasn't gotten her sea legs yet).  The tour was incredible and I was surprised that even sitting outside we weren't freezing or accosted by the wind.  The New York city skyline was beautiful and it was neat to see the Statue of Liberty up close.  

 Kira was a fantastic guide and once we got off the boat took us to Times Square and Grand Central Station before we met Sidi at home and had dinner at The Merchant.  The restaurant is a former bank and they use the old safe as a deep freezer.

Sunday, we went to the Bronx to see friends of Abdoulaye's from Guinea - one of whom he hasn't seen in 10 years!  Delicious foods, sweet friends, a baby that warmed up to us: a success!

It was hard to say goodbye to Sidi and Kira after such a long weekend but we're looking forward to our next trip back to the Big Apple to see them and visit more of what New York has to offer!

Where's Waldo?  We made it on the big screen!  But can you find us? (hint: left third, on the bottom)

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