Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Life in Acronyms

Tomorrow our Community Counterparts (CCs) and arrive at the Thiès Training Center for a three-day Counterpart Workshop (CPW) where we'll do official introductions, have some halting and awkward getting-to-know-you conversations, and talk about the work we'll be doing as Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) over the next couple years.

So, what are Community Counterparts? Well. As far as I can tell, when a village or town has decided that they want a PCV and Peace Corps (PC) has decided that it's an appropriate location for a PCV, the community gets together and chooses a couple people to be our work partners. The idea is that they can show us around, explain village norms to us and our bizarreness to the village, and just generally facilitate our integration into the community. They'll also help us communicate, especially at the beginning when our language skills are still basically "Thanks to you! You have peace! Peace only! I am called Adama in Senegal! I come from America! Senegal is pretty! It is hot today! Hot, hot hot!"

My counterparts are two Senegalese men, I met them during my Volunteer Visit (VV) to Kédougou and they were really nice. One is Gilbert, a very kind and slightly spazzy guy w,ho manages a campement, a little group of rustic guesthouses for tourists, and the other is Jean-Jacques, the Infirmière Chef de Post, (ICP, the head nurse at the local health post) who I only got to meet for a few minutes on account of his busy schedule.

I have some paperwork to do to get ready for CPW, so I should go do that now.


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