Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Welcome to Sahel

I just got back from my volunteer visit, where I visited a volunteer (duh) in the region where I'll be living for the next two years. Obviously there's no way I can comment on everything, so here are the main bullet points:
  • I visited a volunteer named Justin in a town called Yang Yang with another trainee, Jenn. We all had a great time together and Justin was a fabulous host. Here's Jenn and I on our first charette ride.

  • I'm living in the Sahel. It's unbelievably hot during the day, then at night you're shivering
  • My village is in the region Louga, but our regional house is in Linguere, so I'm going to refer to it as the Linguere region (sorry for any confusion)
  • My new name for the next two years is Mariama Ndjow
  • My village is really big (around 2100 ppl) and rowdy, which should be interesting
  • There are a ton of teenage boys in my village and I would estimate I had about 50 marriage proposals the day I visited. It's gonna be a fun 2 years
  • A lot of my friends went down south, where there are waterfalls and monkeys... I got camels...

  • We're out in the bush and a lot of people there have never seen toubabs before, so we unintentionally made a lot of little kids cry... it reminded me of my Sesame days.
  • At one point Jenn dropped her phone down Justin's drop toilet. Somehow is was miraculously retrieved the next day and still works. Proof the PCVs are in fact disgusting and I will never be truly clean again in my life.
  • All coversations the entire visit revolved around food. I've never been such a fattie in my life. I eat the weirdest things now that I would NEVER have eaten in America, just because it's food. This makes me nervous considering it's only been a little over a month.
  • At the end of our volunteer visit, we drove into Linguere to meet up at our regional house with the other volunteers and trainees. Here are Jenn and I on our first bush taxi. *Note: this photo was taken at the end of the ride as we were unloading... when we were actually on the taxi, there were about 25 other ppl piled on, as well as 3 sheep and a box of live pigeons. I can't make this stuff up.

  • And finally, some wonderful news.. the good people of the Linguere regional house download episodes of Glee, so all of us deprived trainees were able to watch 2 of the episodes that we've missed since being over here. Life is truly great.
That's all for now. I won't have a computer for the next week, because that's how it goes here. I'm loving every minute of this and sorry I can't write down every single detail.

I'll write again next week. And a shout out to my amazing parents for celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary today! Happy anniversary, Mom & Dad!! Love you!!

Peace out!


  1. TOO COOL. TOO COOL. TOO COOL!!!!! Be safe. be happy, keep writing!
    Love you, Aunt Kit

  2. So happy that life in Africa is treating you so well ... You look great ...
    LOVE the pictures & love reading your blog ...
    Stay safe ...


    Please let me know if you would like me to send you anything ...

  3. Love your stories Fae, or should i say Mariama Ndjow. Keep them coming!

  4. GNOME you are such a baller with your camels..I hope by the end of your time there you own one and have named it Justin Bobby

  5. What a great name! You cannot go wrong with Miriama (beloved/gift of God). Though I must say the famous Miriamas (Marys) have all been famous for breaking the rules for the high good. Maybe you better not share that last bit with your mom.
    Looks like you are having a blast. Keep the blog posts coming!