Come celebrate Malian Independence Day with us!
Our favorite West African restaurant, Bissap Baobab in Oakland CA, is hosting a teranga for the Dokotoro Project on Tuesday September 23 (the day after Malian Independence Day). In Wolof, teranga means “hospitality,” and 20 percent of the night’s proceeds will be donated to the Dokotoro Project!
Just call the restaurant at (510) 817-4722 or visit them online to make a reservation. Either way, make sure to mention “Dokotoro teranga.” It’s an easy and delicious way to support health in West Africa. Please spread the word — and see you there!
We are delighted to announce that we have published online the newly-translated chapter on First Aid, from the forthcoming Bambara-language edition of Where There is No Doctor. Download the file now on the Downloads page.
This is a big milestone, as it is one of the longest chapters in the entire book. The translation corresponds to the new Advance First Aid Chapter from the NEW Where There Is No Doctor, which you can download or read online at the Hesperian Health Guides website.
Page from the First Aid chapter
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Here is some fantastic singing and playing of traditional instruments by late Malian griot Fodé Kouyaté (1958-1997). The title of the clip is “An ka wili,” or “Let’s stand up.” It’s an exhortation to work hard for the betterment of your community and your country. It also shows you how much variation there is in Bambara pronunciation and spelling; most dictionaries show “wuli” rather than “wili.”
Our Steering Committee held its monthly meeting on August 3, and there are a lot of things happening right now. Here is a quick project update.
Layout – We had a lot of discussions about software. We had a strong interest in using free and open source software for layout, since we are thinking about our partners in Mali who will one day take over responsibility for the book, keeping it up to date, and publishing new editions. They may even like to translate it into other African languages. The program Scribus looked promising, but one commenter said that it is not good at handling large numbers of images. Since Where There is No Doctor has over 1,000 images, that pretty much rules it out.
We’ve decided to go with the conventional, industry-leading software, Adobe InDesign. There is a new plugin available called Wordsflow that a lot of designers are excited about. It lets you maintain a “live link” to MS Word documents. We hope that this will help solve the “chicken and egg” dilemma with design: You don’t want to do the design until your content is finalized. But we need to show the book to health workers in Mali to collect feedback before we publish the final edition. And how can we show it to them if it hasn’t been layed out properly?
Please share with any friends or colleagues in Rochester!
You are invited to a presentation and discussion with two of the founders of the Dokotoro Project about health and development in Mali, West Africa. We are working to have the book “Where There is No Doctor” translated into Bambara, the main language spoken in the country.
Dokotoro Project Reception
Thursday, July 24, 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Rochester Central Library Auditorium
15 South Avenue
Rochester, NY 14604
We will have plenty of time for socializing, and we will serve West African food and beverages. Short program begins at 6:00 pm.
This event is free and open to the public. Donations to benefit the translation project are welcome. Please join us! RSVP (optional) to email@example.com.
We’ll be holding another of our Hackathon-style work parties in the DTO on the first weekend in August. Please join us if you’re in the area. All skill levels welcome!
Dokotoro Project Hackathon
Sunday, August 3, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Downtown Oakland, near 12th Street BART
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for the exact location and directions.
We still have some work to do preparing the last few chapters to send to our translators, formatting documents, and some other administrative tasks. As always, bring a laptop if you have one. We’ll have plenty of snacks and drinks, and the option to hang out afterwards at a local bar or restaurant.
Please join us for a Mali-style barbecue on Sunday June 29th in Berkeley. This will be an informal gathering to thank and greet our volunteers, supporters, and friends — past, present, and future. Our big fundraiser is coming up in the fall, but for now please come help us celebrate our progress, as we’ve recently finished translating about 70 percent of Where There is No Doctor into Bambara.
Buying street food in Sikasso, Mali. Photo by flickr user ‘delayed gratification.’
Sunday, June 29, 1:00-4:00 pm
Charlie Dorr Mini Park
2208 Acton Street
Berkeley, CA 94702
The Charles Dorr mini-park is nestled in a quiet Berkeley neighborhood between Allston and Bancroft Ways, about a 20-minute walk from the Downtown Berkeley BART. It’s easy to get to by bike, and there is nearby on-street parking.
We’ll have Mali-style brochetti sandwiches, and some snacks and cold beverages. Bring something to share if you like.
The park has a great playground, so kids are very welcome. And please pass on this invitation to friends and family to help us grow the Dokotoro family. Please click here to RSVP.
Dɔɔnin dɔɔnin kɔnɔnin bɛ ɲaga da.
—Bambara proverb: “The little bird builds his nest bit by bit.”
If we had a motto here at The Dokotoro Project, this would probably be it. We’re getting closer to our goal of publishing the book Where There is No Doctor in the Bambara language, but I think it’s safe to say that this project has turned out to be longer and more complicated than any of us ever imagined. We have a couple of exciting things to announce:
We just published Chapter 16: The Eyes, on the website. Go to our Downloads page to check it out.
We recently completed the final edits to Chapter 10: First Aid. Whew, this was a long one! Volunteers are working on formatting it for the web now. Our translators worked entirely from English-language source text (based on the all-new 21st-century edition of Where There is No Doctor from Hesperian Health Guides), so there is no bilingual edition available. Please contact us if you can help with English-to-French translation, even just a few paragraphs at a time!
Illustration of how to attach bandages from the First Aid chapter
We’re planning a little barbecue in Berkeley on Sunday, June 29. This will be an informal get-together to thank our volunteers and supporters, or just hang out and chat about Mali. Make sure you subscribe to our email updates to get an invitation!
We’re considering holding a larger celebration in the fall to commemorate le 22 septembre, or Malian Independence Day. Please be in touch if you would like to join the planning committee or have any ideas!
Some great new music out of Mali, courtesy of our friends at Afropop Worldwide:
Anansy Cissé is one of Bamako’s hottest young guitar talents. So we’re very happy to be able to give out a free download of “Aïgouna,” one of the highlights of his new record Mali Overdrive.