For me, the highlight of the trip is going to be Sidy's son's baptism ceremony. I have never been to one before, and this one is particularly special, of course. I believe that Sidy's family is going to slaughter a cow for the occasion.
I am also going to be involved in a performance art piece by my friend Amery Kessler. He is going to build a drum big enough for someone to fit inside. He has one here in the US that is modeled on a cajon. In Mali he is going to use a skin instead. I got to try the cajon one out in Providence last month and it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. I was lying inside and about 8 people, including Sidy, were playing the drum. I didn't want to come out, LOL.
As far as classes are concerned, I am mostly interested in dunun, of course. Last year the dunun classes didn't really come together. I studied djembe instead. This year I am hoping to spend some time studying with one of the guys from the Districte de Bamako troupe.
All in all, I am just thrilled to be going back. Will keep you all posted!