Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Talk of the Town times Two-sday: Drs. Abdoulaye Bangoura and Massa Malevogui

lucky me!  kisses from Massa (l) and Abdoulaye (r)
 Life has a funny way of bringing special people, places and moments into our lives. My life in Mali is no different and it has indeed brought a lot of special people, places and moments into my life.

I met Abdoulaye in October 2010 through my work as a Peace Corps Volunteer at USAID/PHARE. He came, along with a group of young students, to help us at the office prepare training materials for a national teacher training. It was like at first site! Charismatic, charming, intelligent, patient, funny, attentive; everyone wants to be around Abdoulaye and I'm head over heels! After helping out around the office for two weeks, where he was trying to earn the money to return to Guinea (after coming to Mali to conduct research for his veterinarian thesis), he received the news that he had gotten a job at a computer center in Bamako. Rather than return to Guinea where he did not have a job already lined up Abdoulaye decided to stay in Bamako until the defense of his thesis in April when he would return to Guinea. Well, life not only has funny ways of bringing people, places and moments into our lives but also keeping us in places, too! Fast forward to July 2011and Abdoulaye is still here in Bamako accompanied by his friend and fellow veterinary school graduate, Massa, with plans to soon open a veterinarian clinic here in the capital.

Both Massa and Abdoulaye recently received their degrees in veterinary medicine and are living here in Bamako. Here's a double interview for you to get to know them both a little better! Please leave questions and comments below!

Name: Dr. Massa Malévogui
Age: July 21, 1986
Marital status: Single
Occupation: Recent graduate of veterinarian school
Where were you born?
I was born in Macenta, Guinea.

What made you interested in becoming a veterinarian?
In Guinea, when you're done with high school you take a test (le concours d'acces a l'enseignement supérieur), and the State decides what you will study. First, you make a list of sixteen areas of study that interest you out of about 20. From that list of sixteen the government looks at your score and decides what you will study based on the results of the exam. Veterinary medicine was my first choice. I put veterinary medicine as my first choice because it was a new field of study and people didn't know much about veterinary medicine, students were only focusing on general practice and I wanted to try something new.

What's your favorite place in Guinea/Bamako?
My favorite place in Guinea is Macenta, my native town. My family is there and it's where I was born so it's naturally my favorite place. The place I like the most in Bamako is the National Park of Mali; it's beautiful.

What's great about Guinea/Mali?
If you're interested in visiting Guinea, well, it depends on the visitor. In Guinea there are many natural resources, there's the ocean. There are many rivers, mountains and large forests.

What's your favorite proverb?
Pélé pélé ka dihri lavé (in Massa's native language, Toma)
Ces plusieurs goutes qui remplissent une marmite.
It's many drops that fill the pot.
With time and patience we achieve our goals.

Final comments?
I am very happy to get to know Bamako and to have such lovely friends.
Massa and Abdoulaye hamming it up on my porch
Name: Dr. Abdoulaye Bangoura
Age: October 28, 1984
Marital status: Single (sort of!)
Occupation: Recent graduate of veterinarian school and manager of a computer center

Where were you born?
I was born in Conakry, Guinea.

What made you interested in becoming a veterinarian?
A lack of choices and of money! When I finished the baccalaureate I wanted to study Communications. But at the time there wasn't a university in Guinea where you could study Communications – you had to go to Senegal and I didn't have the means to go. And then the way the government decides for our studies in Guinea means you don't really have a choice. Making a list of 16 choices out of 20 isn't really making a choice when the government has the final say! Since I couldn't study Communications in Guinea, I decided I wanted to study architecture. However, I put veterinarian medicine as my first choice but more as a pipe dream - I didn't think I had the grades to be selected. Then, I was selected and I began my studies to become a veterinarian. I thought I would study veterinary medicine until I had the means to go to Senegal to study Communications. Well, I never got the means and I learned to love veterinary medicine! I don't regret for a minute having studied veterinary medicine because over the years I have learned to love this career. Overcoming the challenges of veterinary science and all the excitement involved; this is real love! Love that has come over time and that I've been a part of creating myself.

What's your favorite place in Guinea/Bamako?
My favorite place in Guinea is Conakry (the capital) because it's where I was born and where my family is and where all my childhood friends are. It's where I feel at home. My favorite place in Bamako? Jennifer's house! Why? Because it's my refuge! It's where I feel at peace, relaxed and loved.

What's great about Guinea/Mali?
Guinea is a country of history. It's a country of people. A country of people who live by facts. We're a young country but we are aware of our history and the realities of our country. Poverty, a lack of democracy, injustice, insecurity. We are aware of these problems and we're not ashamed. We recognize that overcoming these problems are just steps in the history of our country that we must surmount them – just like countries around the world have done before us. And, in addition, Guinea is paradise! Everything is beautiful! The men. The women. The landscape. The life. And the joy reflected when Guineans share with others.

Mali is also pretty good :) When you're in Mali, you feel at home and I like that. I like the joking cousins aspect of Mali. We have it in Guinea but in Mali it's even more intense! Also it's important to remember, as our former president, Ahmed Sékou Touré, once said 'Guinea and Mali are two lungs in a single chest.'

What quality would you most like to have?
I'd like to be more patient. I think it's an important characteristic.

What's your favorite proverb?
Lohré boo ki oki fo ali. (In Abdoulaye's native language, Susu)
Quelque soi la durée du jour, ca va venir.
Be patient, what you're waiting for will come.

Final comments?
I think that what you're (Jennifer) doing is important even for us (the interviewees). These interviews encourage us to reflect, to discover more about ourselves, to learn more about ourselves and to learn from these discoveries. And my last comment? Never stop!

Here are some pictures from their surprise party we threw to celebrate their veterinary achievements!


bowlofjesslove said...

hear, hear! love these profiles girl! keep it up!!

Anonymous said...

Well, abdoulaye... You sound like a fine young man....where will you be in 5 years?!?!?!... Will you be in communications or taking care of all those animals!??..
And what about that Jennifer!?!?

I hope you will be in the USA soon so I can learn more about you and show you our wonderful country!!!!

Jennifer said...

who are you anonymous?? Dad?? and yeah, what about that Jennifer....where will i be?? :) looking forward to us sharing in the USA together and one day Toulouse Jess!

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