Saturday, June 21, 2014

Habib Koite

The Wisconsin program came out and joined us for lunch and a day at the beach. Africa Impact came for lunch. I arranged lunch with Hassan Tege, and he truly outdid himself. Even longtime expats love his food. And maybe that tamarind-baobab-vanilla juice really prevents malaria. I just know it’s delicious.

While most of the students wanted to attend a party at another hotel, the older set wanted to watch Habib Koite in Stone Town. He's not just a musician - he's a legend out of Mali. Seeing him is a rare opportunity. I wanted my students to enjoy the show, but  I also understand wanting to party with friends. I gave the students the night off, with limits – no risky behavior, stay together, keep a working phone with you at all times.

Interesting thing about ancient literature: when the hero and his friends are told, “Do not do this one thing ever. I’m serious. Like never do this. Ne-ver”, they invariably do that one thing. In creation mythology, this symbolizes the introduction of free will – humans must rebel against the gods so that their choices mean something. In later stories it signifies humanity’s constant struggle. And in some stories it signifies a Program Violation.

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