Saturday, February 11, 2012

MegaUpdate: January 2012 Edition

It’s been a busy few weeks (month?) over here. I kind of can’t believe it’s February. I knew (in general and in Peace Corps) about the whole time-speeds-up thing, but it still feels surreal.

In any case, January kicked off with a scramble to get our Work Zone stuff all squared away (basically everyone in and around Salémata told me what they’ve been up to lately and I wrote up a report), getting things together for a potential latrine project, and working on visual aids for nutrition causeries (health talks) at the Salémata Health Center.

Then, along with a few other PCVs, I headed up to Thiès for the Gender and Development (GAD) conference and Work Zone Coordinator meetings, followed by our All-Volunteer Conference (All-Vol). The idea behind All-Vol is that all of the PCVs from Senegal get together with delegations of PCVs from other West African countries (Mali, Guinea, the Gambia) to talk about projects and plans and chat it up about Peace Corps stuff. I had a good time, it was great to see other people from my training stage and to hear about what it’s like living in other parts of West Africa.

After All-Vol it was time to head up to Dakar to get ready for the West Africa Invitational Softball Tournament (W.A.I.S.T.). There are two categories of teams at W.A.I.S.T., those that play in the Competitive League (for people who play softball regularly, know the rules, and own gloves and bats and things) and those who are in the Recreational League (for people who are more concerned with having good costumes). 

My friend Rachel is on the International School’s Faculty Team, so she had to play against us, and we had a little Logger reunion – there are currently at least five University of Puget Sound graduates in Senegal, and all of them were on W.A.I.S.T. teams this year. 

Loggers: Rachel, me, Mac, Mika, Emily. 
After all the softball madness I spent a couple days hanging out poolside at my friends Rachel & Emily’s wonderful bungalow, playing with their cats and talking about babies – baby blankets, baby names, baby nannies, baby showers, baby onesies… It was adorable and Leah would have loved it. Then I had Peer Support Counselor Training at the Peace Corps main office in Dakar, which went well. A lot of other PC programs have peer counseling systems and I think it’s a really good thing to have for PCV support. After that wrapped up there were enough of us heading back from Dakar to fill up a sept-place back to Kédougou.

Peer Support Counselors 2012
(I'm top left, with the tall kids.)
Once I was back in Kédougou I went back to village for a few days, and it was really nice to sleep in my own bed, hang out with my host family (baby Fatou is getting so big!) and help out at the monthly baby-weighing stuff and vaccination day at the Salémata Health Center.

And then I got strep throat. 

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