The main reason I went to Burkina Faso was to work with my artisan partners from Mali. Because of the instability in Mali I haven't felt comfortable to go there to work on new products and tweak existing products. Attending SIAO was my tie-dye cooperative, mud cloth workshop, sewing/exporter, and Aissata, my beautiful crochet artist (top image). Being from Bamako, they speak mostly Bambara and French. I speak Spanish so obviously there is quite a language barrier. Fortunately I had a translator and was able to get a lot of product development work done. Languages aside it's amazing how you can sit with someone and not really say anything but leave with your heart feeling full. I love this.