I can't believe that I have already been in Africa for a month and I haven't written a blog entry yet. I must say that I'm not just being lazy, I am really living in the African bush! No electricity, phones, running water and suprisingly, I'm loving it more than I ever thought I could. I love every part of it, my mud hut, my mosquito net covered outdoor sleeping quarters, and even the slimy millet mush. I find myself craving it sometimes. But most of all, I love the people here, my Nigerien family. From the moment I saw their smiling faces and the excitement in their eves when we arrived, I knew that I made the right decision coming here.
My Zarma is getting better and better each day, and my family has nothing but patience for me. Training has been much more relaxed that I expected it to be. We spend our class times spralled on straw mats under shade hangers. We are constantly interrupted by little kids, women coming in from the fields with millet pilled high on their heads, or gusts of wind blowing in at tornado speeds. But we have patience, we are living in Niger.
After much anticipation, they told us on Friday where we will be posted for the next two years. I will be headed to a small village of 200 people in the Dosso region. It is 4km away from a famous religious city where the biggest chic in west Africa lives. Thousands of people from all over Africa visit the city to see him, so I imagine it to be a fairly diverse place. I'm on a paved road, so I won't have to deal with the dreaded walks through endless sad dunes in 120 degree heat, as some volunteers do. I'll know more after our week of live-in coming up. I will be able to spend Thanksgiving with other volunteers in the Dosso hostel after live-in is over. It will be nice to meet the other volunteers in my region, and we might be able to get a turkey!
Thanks to everyone who has written me letters. They truely make my day. I have a cell phone now, but reception in my current village is bad. It will be much better when I'm at my permanent site in mid December. Buy a cheap calling card and call me. I hear www.callafrica.com and www.phonecards.com have good rates. To call me you dial 011-227-97165994.
Also, I have a new address:
Corps de la Paix
Dosso, Niger, West Africa
I love you guys! I hope all is well at home. Yay Obama!! They all love him here too!