Monday, February 18, 2013


My training group and I had our Close-of-Service (COS) conference last week and I now I have an official COS date (May 1st, 2013!)  and a long list of things that I have to get done before then. With the latrine project wrapping up nicely I can turn my attention to helping run a Maternal & Child Health training, helping to facilitate another visit from the PeaceCare team, participating in the Kedougou Youth Leadership Camp, and handing off my various Peace Corps-related responsibilities.

The Maternal Health training was supposed to happen last November, but there were some... perturbations... during the whole grant-processing  procedure and things didn't quite pan out as planned, but the midwives and Health Center staff are enthusiastic and I'm hopeful that the training will happen in early March so that I won't have to pass it on to my replacement, who will be arriving in early May. I'm looking forward to PeaceCare's visit (cryotherapy training for local health professionals! How can you not be looking forward to that?) and of course, pretty much everyone knows how much I love camp, so that'll be great, too.

It's shaping up to be an exceptionally busy few weeks, but as hectic as it's shaping up to be, I am glad that I'll be busy.

I'm hoping that all the work will help keep me from dwelling on how sad I'll be to leave my host family and my friends here and from fretting about the somewhat intimidating prospect of returning to America. (So big! So expensive! So fancy! So many options for everything!) I'm definitely going to miss Mariama Kesso and her daughter Fatou (above - she's getting so big!). I will miss the kids (Sajou, Tijane, Mankaba, and Diabou, below left) who like to come by my hut in the afternoons (and some mornings, and most evenings) to color and practice counting and insist that I look at whatever they happen to be doing. I might miss Diabou (below right, with marker on her face) most of all. She was the last of the kids to warm up to me, she doesn't talk much, and one time she accidentally peed on my floor, but she's also funny and tenacious and always comes over to offer me peanuts and to help me sweep out my hut. She's a good little friend.

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