Blog Archive

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

a short rain, my close of service conference, and more treks

Photos; in order from top to bottom.
1. Fatou Sowe, Volunteer Support Coordinator and all around amazing woman.
2. Ryan and I. We were hotel roommates at Staging, when the great adventure started.
3. The surviving group.
4. Blair and Mike, two amazing former Peace Corps Volunteer Leaders.
5. Nathan.
6. Myself (yes, my head is shaved).
7. Kristy, environment volunteer extraodinairre.
8. Brain, a good teacher and an even better cook.
9. Anne, our fearless leader.
10. Marcus, the best photographer I've ever met.
11. Marcus and Chris, computer wizzes.
12. Brian and Kristy.
13. Anne and Josh.
14. The Gambia flag.
15. A nice looking classroom.
16. A school.
17. "Lespect?"
18. Seed dropping machines awaiting the rainy season.
19. An OLD Peace Corps house now being used as a kitchen.
20. A door leading from outside to outside.
21. Our car stopped at a certain school.
22. Linda presenting at an education conference.
23. Making a distillation set up with a fellow teacher at my school in Suduwol.
24. and 25. Teachers from Suduwol and Sarre Alfa gathered after a workshop.
26. Two teachers taking notes at a workshop.
27. Mr Dukuray presenting at a workshop.
28. Mr Badjie presenting at a workshop.

The dry season heat is at its worst and I am off on cross country site development treks once again! May is off to an amazing start. I returned to site on April 29th and spent only 3 days back. I had a good time at site. I taught weekend science classes and graded a mock exam I had given my grade 9 students. I continue to slowly sell, give away, or burn the things that I no longer need. This will make moving easier. As usual, I avoided my hot hut at night and slept outside. However, one morning I was woken at 5am by rain. It drizzled very lightly for about a half hour, which was really nice. I moved my bed inside and listened to the rain fall. The smell of wet Earth rose in the air and then the village mosque began making its morning prayer call and I remembered why I like it here so much. These are the sounds and smells I will miss. I was reluctant to close up my hut and leave again, but I was back on the raod on May 4th.

I biked to Basse and spent the night there. I caught a Gele to Janjanbury Island and crossed on a large ferry that they have installed there now. The bridge is almost complete and they've put in a larger ferry to help carry large construction equipment across the river. I joined Linda (Peace Corps education program manager), Alfa (PC security coordinator) and Muhammed Touray (assistant education program manager) at Janjanbury on May 4th and we traveled to Soma, where I stayed the night with a fellow volunteer. On May 5th we visited two schools, which were good, and stayed the night at Tendaba camp, where I did a lot of my training two years ago, I went for a run through a large mangrove forest that is behind the camp, which is beautiful, even in the dry season. On May 6th we visited two more schools and then returned to Kombo. On May 7th I begin my Close of Service (COS) Conference, where my entire original group came together to relfect on our services and prepare for our return to the US. Though I will be extending for a year, I wanted to attend the conference. We spent 3 days at a small hotel, having meetings, eating great food, and talking about all the crazy experiences we've had. I took my final Pulaar language test, which I think I did alright on. I also went through a medical and dental exam (I'm apparently healthy - sigh of relief). However, I got a prescription for eye glasses, which I apparently need now.

I've stuck around in Kombo since Monday, helping with preparations for the upcoming training and getting other work done. I will be going on another trek starting Sunday and then I hope to return to site for a good, long while before I move later in June. My new house in Tanji is being prepared though.


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  2. Ous,
    I am working on gathering some donations to help with gambia and it would be nice to get some items for schools, if you could email me I will explain further on my thoughts and you can give me insight on what is actually necessary.
    Thank You.