Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I have successfully been in my village for two straight weeks with my family and they are wonderful! i have 5 siblings; all younger and my village mom and dad are wonderful! Very supportive and most importantly very patient during this beginning time of learning!

So far I have basically greeted a lot of people; gotten comfortable; and gotten to know the community a little! I have already met with some womens groups who are interested in receiving help and advice from me of all people; so I hope to be able to do that once language barriers are crossed and i have received more technical training! I plan on going back tuesday and will spend a few more weeks out there until coming back into tamba!

My thanksgiving was spent in the beautiful country side of kedougou! there are mountainous hills there and the gambia river and it is beautiful! one of the peace corps volunteers is an excellent cook and fixed up a fest for us while we were there! i unfortunately was sick and didnt enjoy the food like i would have wanted to but there is always next time! it was fun to hang out with other americans and celebrate a holiday i know my family and friends were celebrating too! much needed therapy!

I was thinking about my blogs and wondering if you who are reading would like more informational blogs like i have been writing or if you would like more philosophical issue type blogs where i talk about some of the things I find myself thinking when surrounded by lots of poverty and language barriers; etc. It would be helpful for me so I can write what i know you all are interested in reading and save other things for emails or other sources o communication!

ONE HUGE THING!!! If you by chance send me a letter through the mail; please please send a packet of seeds with it! This wont add to the cost of the letter and it will be sooo helpful! Vegetable seeds here are expensive and not necessarily the best quality; so just stick a little surprise in there with your note of love!

All my love to you and hope all is well back in the USofA or wherever you may be right now!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Short post

I am back in Tamba after two weeks in maleme niani! Im going to kedougou tomorrow with friends to celebrate the holiday! I plan on posting after thanksgiving to let you all know what is going on in my life!

Know i miss and love you all and its so good to get updates from you! Hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving and are able to spend time with friends or family but most importantly the people you love and are thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving from Senegal!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Maleme Niani here I come!!

Hello from Tambacounda!

I am currently at the regional house but will be moving tomorrow, November 12, 2008, to Maleme Niani! I move in tomorrow around noon and then start off my two years of service. I and four other ladies are in the Tambacounda region and excited about what is to come.

I swore in last Friday at the Ambassadors house in Dakar. It was a huge to-do, lots of press, the president’s general secretary (or some sort) and a number of other dignitaries from around Senegal and representing the United States! Forty of us came to Senegal for our Fall Stage and Forty of us swore in to become peace corps volunteers…a huge thing! After, we ate delicious, rich, food that made an appearance the next day in a not so delicious way. (Apparently my stomach is not used to rich, delicious, American food). Following, headed to the PC office to do some paperwork and then on to the American Club where we swam in a really amazing pool! That night in Thies, we had a party for the new volunteers and a member of their homestay families. There was food, music (of the Mandinka kind), certificates, and of course some dancing that lasted through the night! It was bitter sweet to say goodbye to my sister!

As of now, I am almost positive I will be in Maleme Niani for the next 2 weeks! While there I will get to know my family, find a tutor to keep up my mad mandinka skills, hopefully start cooking up a storm and eating some delicious vegetables (fingers crossed), getting to know my “compound people” and the local community, and just getting a feel for Maleme Niani as a whole! I don’t have internet there so if possible I will try to come into Tamba every two weeks or so to be able to update you all on my life and hopefully begin to accumulate more pictures so you can see the lovely people in my life too!

Other than that you can always contact me over phone and letters/packages are ALWAYS loved and welcomed! And I will always write you back! (if you haven’t gotten a return letter its because the mail system is crazy over here!)

Thanksgiving will hopefully be spent with my lovely friends! We will celebrate with a Thanksgiving dinner, so I will have a bit of America all the way over in Africa!

Keep me updated! Shoot me an email! Let me know what is going on in your own lives and what you are up to! Hope to hear from you soon and stay in touch as best you can!

Lots of love,


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

random post

Dearest Family and friends!

How are you all? I hope everyone is well and would love to hear from those at least a few words as an update! I even love hearing every day activities, like what you ate for lunch or who won the latest sports game! These are like little treasures I love coming across when I can!

I am currently in Thies! I just arrived and pleasantly can use my friends computer again to type this before hand and save me both time and energy trying to type everything out on a computer with a different keyboard than I am used to and paid time! So I just returned to the training center after my last trip to Mbour! I said goodbye to my family there and wont see them for another three months at least! Its crazy this part of my journey is almost over, and I will be swearing in this Friday, November 7th! As a stage, we go to Dakar and have a little celebration at the ambassadors house and then come back to Thies for a party where one of our family members from our village stays will be! They will have lots of food and a celebration ceremony of some sort.

After that I will be leaving for Tambacounda. I will be in Tambacounda getting ready and buying things I need until November 12th and then I actually move to Maleme Niami that afternoon! I met two counterparts at the counterpart workshop we had here at the center a little over a week ago and I am both excited and really nervous about finally making the trek out to my place of residence for the next two years! I have yet to get my address for that location but will for sure post it when I get it! So if you are writing, or sending a package, hold off on sending it to the training center location and wait for me to post a new address, otherwise I might not get any of those things until February when I for sure will be back in Thies!

Hopefully by the time this is posted, I will finally have pictures posted too! That has been crazy and annoying trying to figure out how to get them on but hopefully I will have a system figured out by the time I am in my village! Sorry it has taken so long!

Well this post is much more informational than I thought it would be! I will try to get a post out before I head to Tamba or while I am there! Please please keep me updated on your life too! I love hearing how things are going in the states and am definitely separated from everything going on there so any tidbits are great! All my love to you all! You have no idea how many of you come to my mind when I am doing random things here! I miss you and love you all and hope all is well wherever you are!

Much Love!!!