Sunday, August 30, 2009

A crack in my methodology

Well I am going to stray from the structure of my previous postings in order to at least get something out there for y'all to read. The photo posted is just one of my beautiful sister who is newly married to my new bro-in-law Nate! The wedding was fantastic, meaningful, and lots and lots of fun and now the two are living in Buffalo NY. Im sure any other info you can get from either one of them!

I am currently sitting in a hotel in Tambacounda, the main city in my region. I am here for the next couple of days working with other peace corps volunteers, typing up random reports and documents, and getting together things i can only do in places that have electricity and internet access. I didnt have the time to put together something like I have in the past but hope this suffices for those who like to keep updated.

I've stayed busy the two weeks I have been back at site. It is the rainy season here so every couple of days we have at least a little bit of rain and often times get rain every day. It is the time of outplanting all the trees i have been growing and watching over alongside of people in my community. I have outplanted a live fence that helps to keep from having to replace dead wood fences every year as well as random spots to plant trees in prominent community places, schools, for shade, etc. That has pretty muched wrapped up and now I am in the process of finishing all the detail work for the mosquito net distribution that happened before i left for America (pictures to com soon).

Along with staying busy it is a really important time for the muslim community here in Senegal because they are celebrating the holiday of Ramadan. Ramadan is a month long experience of fasting of food and water during the times when the sun is out. Family members wake up at 5am to take their breakfasts and then do not eat or drink until around 7:30 pm when the sun begins to set. It is a really special time i have found that brings family members together and really creates a feeling of community and bonding between people. I have been taking part and am really finding it to be something that i have appreciated and learned to take a lot of things from the times I wish i had a glass of water or something to eat to reflect and think about all that I do have and where it comes from! I have also had a wonderful time experiencing this with my family here, being able to connect with them in a different way than i have previously since being in Senegal. Ramadan ends with the next cycle of the moon (around September 21) with a big feast called Korite. Often this will be celebrated with the slaughter of a sheep or goat and a big meal that the family eats during the day and finally breaks the fast!

I wanted to get something out to you to let you know i am trying not to neglect my blogging duties! It was so good to see some of you all when i was in the states! All the best from Senegal and the Toubab times will hopefully begin again in the next post!

much love and happy fasting!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Toubab Times
Second Edition, August 13, 2009
Editor and Writer: Mane Gory aka Jessica Scates

Letter From the Editor

I apologize profusely to my readers because of my lack of communication since around May. I have been busy this “summer” and not taken the time to update you all so I hope this edition will give youa few updates on my life and what I am doing right now. This last june I had the opportunity to go to Brasil for a family reunion! It was fabulous and I got to see my immediate family and many members of my dad’s family. (not to mention the whole getting to be in brasil thing) After my trip to brasil I had about a month left in Senegal before my next trip…my sister’s wedding. Amanda got married on August 8 in Michigan and I went to be present, help how I could, and see her off on her way to be a wife! After I met up with some friends in the chicagoland area and now I am sitting in Ohare waiting for my flight to NYC to make it to Senegal by tomorrow morning. Through all of this I have tried to get as much work done as possible, stay as healthy as possible (update below), all the while going back and forth from place to place. So my apologies to you all and happy reading!
This is a horrible segway into a different time but I am now currently in Senegal, made it safely as you probably can see (i did post a blog) and going back to village tomorrow. I'm happy to be back and hope to see some trees alive and planted when i return to ville. I got the opportunity to welcome some really wonderful new volunteers to Senegal. There are a total of 52 here and all of them are doing very well so far and will be soon adjusted to the Senegalese lifestyle! Miss my american friends and family but enjoying everything I am doing! Keep me updated when you can!

TOP STORY: PCV Jessica Scates Village Father Inducted as Adjunct Mayor
Reported by: Jessica Scates

Mane Gory’s father was elected as adjunct mayor of Malem Niani. The victory occurred with nothing less than a little drama and huge celebration (as the Senegalese always do) and her family is on its way to becoming patron!! PCV’s father is technically the second mayor in command but the representative who is living in Malem Niani. His family and friends are very proud of his accomplishment and excited for the opportunities this will bring them in the near future. PCV Mane is also very excited for the inside look and connection she may have with the government and the possible effects that might have on her service experience. Updates will continue on his term and how he is dealing with responsibilities that are new to him and his family.

FINANACE: Mosquito Net Distribution
Reported by: Jessica Scates
PCV Mane Gory spent a weekend with the help of other PCV’s (Binta, Ida, Aissatou, and Sanu). The distribution was stressful but went as well as could be expected. Malem Niani habitants and individuals living in neighboring communities all received nets from this distribution and another distribution that covered women and children of the community. Mane wants to send a HUGE thank you to her family and friends who helped her raise the money to buy these nets for her neighbors and friends. It will make a huge impact on the health and safety of the people of her village. 1150 nets were provided for the area which means $2300 was raised to support the effort. Thanks to all who helped and the ways in which you have improved the lives of so many people Mane interacts with everyday.


Rain continues through October.

(What’s on your bedstand)

Finding our Way Again
By Brian McLaren

-I just started this book by recommendation of my newly married sister!

-Weekly Sighting-

Senegalese Sledding. Senegalese children craftily cut up plastic water carriers, using them as toboggans, and slid down a dirt hill outside of Maleme Niani.

SALYMATOU’s Senesations
(Senegalese Mama’s Recipe)
Previous Recipe: Cheb O Jen
Current Recipe: Maffe/Durango coming soon


PCV Continues work with Local Eaux et Foret agency. Around 30,000 tree sacks have been filled with earth by community members and seeding has begun. Outplanting began on August 1st and will continue as PCV returns to her community at the beginning of this week.
PCV to meet with president of community rural of Kouca Gaydi, town 25 km from Maleme Niani to speak about AGFO technologies and PCV’s presence in that community.
PCV’s work with Environmental club at the local college continues. Event was held to begin outplanting while PCV was in the USofA with members of the community. Outplanting will continue through the rainy season.
Tomatoes planted at the local Eaux et Foret. More veggies to follow after rainy season ends.
Scholarship process completed. Papers sent to Dakar and scholarship recipients will be announced within the next month.
PCV beginning process to put together orchard/garden site in her village for the 8+ womens groups to grow and sell produce. She hopes to use currently available space to make a test site for the upcoming cold season. Hopes for veggies galore are bright for her future.
PCV to help with new trainees arriving on August 13th. PCV may be flying with trainees on their flight from JFK and then will help for the first few days they are at the Thies training center.

*Please Send questions and comments to the blog site. Editor will respond when needed. Thank You for your Time! Please glance at the short list of items always accepted by PCV in the country of Senegal through the postal service in the top left hand corner of this blog! J