That was a longer than average minute, no?
Well I wanted to wait until I had a little more specific information to make the announcement, and I can now proudly shout from the rooftops that I will being leaving August 13th for Senegal to spend the next two years working in the field (literally) of agriculture!!
We will now transition into the Q&A portion of the post
I get asked the same questions over and over about Africa, and I surely don’t mind ansering them (assuming I know the answer, of course) but I figured I’d cover some of them here to ease your curious minds.
Q: Where are you going, exactly?
A: Senegal!!! I will first be going to Dakar, the capital, for 2 months of training, and then depending on my technical and language skills, the Peace Corps Senegal staff will determine where I will be most productive in the country. I will, more than likely, be the only American in a rural village which may or may not be near any decent sized town.
Q: Where is Senegal? That’s in Africa, right?
A: Yes! Good job remembering your 6th grade geography! (side note: Our 6th grade Geography teacher once gave us a blank map of Africa and we had to fill in each country, capital, and major land form for a test. Raise your hand if you remember anything besides Djibouti, Djibouti from that test.) Anyway, Senegal is the Westernmost country in Africa and its capital, the port city of Dakar, is the gateway to Africa from the Western world.
Alas! Visual aid!
In my humble opinion, Senegal looks like a praying fetus.
Q: Where will you live?
A: During training I will be living with a host family in Dakar or in a compound with other PCVs (Peace Corps Volunteers <- learn the lingo). Once I am placed in my village I will most likely live with a host family, usually of respectable status within the community. I will live in their family compound, but have my own personal living quarters (a mud-brick hut, complete with grass roof!!).
Q: Will you have electricity, phone or internet?
A: No, probably not, and again mostly likely no. At least not in my village. I will be able to travel to town where I can pay for phone and internet services (I get a bike to ride!!) but most of those eccentricities will not be available to me on a daily basis.
Q: How will you shower?
A: Two words: bucket bath
Q: Will there be other American’s with you in your village?
A: Possibly, but not likely. It’s not likely that there will be anyone that speaks English. Here’s to hoping some of the villagers even speak French.
Q: How much are you getting paid to do this?
A: Hahahahahahaah paid. Good one.
There are many more questions that I have somewhat plausible, though mostly vague answers to, but I am quite tired and must retire to my bed. I will answer more tomorrow!