About Kristine

UPDATE (May 2013):  Back by popular demand, I’ll be starting up my blog again to keep everyone updated on my summer in Ghana.  Currently a grad student at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, I’ll be working with the organization Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), which conducts evaluations of development projects around the world.  Their main goal is to figure out what works, why, and how to scale it up to reach more people and eliminate poverty.  You can find out more here: http://www.poverty-action.org/about.  I’ll be living in Accra and helping to set up an evaluation of a primary school and girl’s empowerment program in Ghana’s Volta Region.   Happy reading!

PREVIOUS (May 2009):  My name is Kristine Johnston and I just graduated from the University of Pennsylvania this past May with an International Relations major and French minor.  I arrived in Mali in June as a volunteer with Project Muso Ladamunen.  I will spend a year living and working in Yirimadjo, a peri-urban slum outside of Bamako. As the Education Technical Support Volunteer, I will help Project Muso expand its education program through a partnership with the Senegalese NGO Tostan.



  1. Congrats Kristine! This sounds like an awesome opportunity!

  2. Kristine(Fatime), How do you pronounce that. Surely it is not fat time. Maybe it is Fa te me . Anyway it sounds like you are adapting. I’m sure you will get used to the food soon enough. I imagine you are not running yet, but I’m sure you will find the time if possible. What you will be doing sounds so interesting. The infant moratality rate is high, but I’m sure with the proper education, (and perhaps facilities ?) that can be changed. Surely, for years, they have been trying to lower that statistic. I think the amazing thing to me would be to adjust to the culture. Just because it is different
    doesn’t give it a right or wrong. You know, having to sit back and absorb it all, would take a lot of patience. But, that would be the only way to understand. I sometimes envy you guys. To be so young and to experience all you guys have been able to experience, is facinating.
    Well, I’ll quit babbling, please stay safe and keep writing. Robby
    Cubs, can’t score, but are still hanging. I think they are 3 and 1/2 out. I’m sure they are looking forward to the All Star break.

    • Hi Robby! Haha, it’s Fah-teem, but they usually call me Fatimata. I’ve finally been getting out to run a bit, though I don’t get too far with the heat and humidity. Already looking foward to “cold” season. Thanks for your note and the Cubs update and we’ll talk soon!

  3. Fatime!
    Your updates are great, sounds like you are enjoying yourself. That’s awesome that you have been able to run a little, you’re so dedicated. How’s it going learning the language? I’m sure you’re picking it up pretty quickly! We miss you like crazy here and can’t wait to hear from you soon. Happy early birthday by the way!!
    Love you, Al

  4. Fatime, Sounds like you are getting into it now. How interesting. Be careful running. You’re right, take that fruit any way you can get it. Be safe. Robby Cubs still hanging. 3 1/2 out

  5. Hey Kris: Did they like the dried fruit enough to receive more? Sounds like the little one would appreciate another bag of Oreos. Please let us know of anything we should send. As I mentioned before, I have a couple of ideas. Thank you for the Croatian magnet & the Prague puzzle. Both are on display in our kitchen. Stay safe & keep updating your blog. Love, Betsy

    • Hi Betsy,

      I’m not sure how much they liked it, it was a little hard to tell, but the Oreos were definitely a hit and I’m sure they would like some more, or any American cookie, really. I’ll write some more in the blog soon!

  6. Kristine, Happy Birthday!!! From Betsy, Robby, and Allison
    Stay safe

  7. Kristine, All star game. Al 4, Nl 3. Al has won 13 yrs. in a row. Stay safe, Robby

    • Ahh that makes me so mad! I’m glad I didn’t have to watch it, it just frustrates me!

  8. Kristine, Hope all is well in Mali. Just a head’s up. We beat Cinn. this weekend, 3 out of 3. St Louis lost to Philly, 2 out of three. We are in 1st by one half game, can you believe it? Great news, huh? I’ll give you updates. Robby

    • woohoo!

  9. Bonjour Kristine!

    Je viens de me connecter sur votre blog et suis impressionnée par ce que vous avez déjà posté! Je n’ai pas encore tout lu mais cela viendra…
    J’espère que tout se passe bien pour vous, que vous vous êtes bien adaptée au pays et que votre travail va porter fruit!
    Ici, la rentrée a repris et … avec la correction des copies.

    A plus tard d’autres nouvelles.


  10. Hi Kristine,
    I’ve only just learned about your website and am fascinated by your experiences in Mali. I’m your Great-Aunt Jeanne from Durham, NC. I look forward to following your blog and wish you the best in your projects and adventure.

    Great Aunt Jeanne

    • Hi Aunt Jeanne,

      Thanks for your note, I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying reading the blog!


  11. Kristine I would like to contact you regarding permission to use the Qodesh image. Would you please email me at kweiquartey@gmail.com? Thank you.

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