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,