The U of I book has been back ordered for awhile, but finally they charged me and I assume will be sending it at some point. I will definitely keep you posted when I get it. The cool thing about the U of I book is that the mp3s are available for free on their website.... but you can't use them without the book because they don't have the english equivalent. I'd say that having recordings is absolutely critical if you don't have a Malian to practice with.
While I am waiting for the book, I found the Peace Corps mini lessons on Bambara online and am working with that. Sidy made a recording of the phrases and I am listening to them. I also made a stack of flash cards to work on the vocabulary. It is daunting, I have to say.... but Sidy said that if I can even understand a couple of words in a sentence, it will be enough to get the gist of a conversation. Far better than not knowing anything at all.
e2c, it is true that one's motivation has a lot to do with how well you do with something. I have been really excited about this!
Here's the Peace Corps lesson:www.peacecorps.gov/wws/.../ML_Bambara_L ... essons.pdf