Phil Paoletta loves West Africa. He’s so taken with the region that he left his teaching job in Washington, D.C. on a one-way ticket to Ghana. Since 2010, Phil made his way from Ghana to Mali. In late March, when Amadou Sanogo’s troops staged a coup and ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure, Phil happened to be living in Bamako.

Earlier this week, just hours after the counter-coup attempt, I spoke with Phil about life in Bamako lately. Phil isn’t an aid expert, he doesn’t work for an NGO and he’s not in the Peace Corps. He’s an industrious American guy who is interested in the world around him (and it’s music).

This is the first in a series of interviews for a new show. Enjoy!

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