From: Robert Hirt

To: Yaya and Harlina Diallo

Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2001


Dear Yaya and Harlina,


I wanted to thank you for organizing the trip and making it go very well as far as I was concerned, and for your hospitality before and after the fixed dates - although I have some sympathy for the others' problems. It was a fascinating discovery of a beautiful country with loads of difficulties that were, to a large extent, new to me. I mean, I knew about them but never really saw them in front of my eyes. The Malian people are fantastic and so strong despite their material difficulties. It was an amazing cultural change that I still have with me, in my dreams in particular. And I still wake up not too sure on which continent I am. I learned a lot about Mali and myself. I hope I will be able to carry that with me all the time.

All for now, looking forward to hearing from you again.

All the best,



Robert P. Hirt - PhD

Molecular Biology Unit, Microbiology Group

Department of Zoology

The Natural History Museum

Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK