Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Quick Update from Bakel

So I just got back to the Peace Corps regional house in Tamba from my volunteer site in a village just outside Bakel. It has a lot of really cool things to offer. On my journey (and from a hill in my village) I got to see the Malian and Maurtanian boarders. In fact in the dry season I can just swim across to Maurtania (then swim back because it is Maurtania). Addictionally I can just walk into Mali down the road where the river dries up. It is really pretty though. Like I said there is a hill and surrounding hills in the landscape. Maybe it is because I'm evlavation deprived back home in Michigan but I love my little mountains.

I will be living with the cheif of the village. Except for a couple of cerimonial things the cheif is more of a person of respect not of any actual power. That being said he is actually kind of poor in regards to the rest of the residents of the village. That is largely due to the fact that he has no family abroad sending him back remittances. There are a couple of real "Patron" families that have relatives working in France or what not. It is a interesting dynamic. Unfortantely that means the food is not always the best at my place. The good news is that in Senegalese culture it is prefectly fine to walk around town and get invited into dinner or lunch with another family.

Now the negative: It is hot. Not right now but supposidly it gets up to 120 degrees F. This will be interesting. So no one figure on visiting me from March to June as the dry hot season gets a little rough. That and it is a bit out there and a bit isolated. There will be three of us in close proximity to one another which will help a lot but getting to the next volunteer and the regional capital is a 4hrs bus ride. And that is Tamba. Which is fine and all except if I need or want to get to Dakar or the PC offices in Thies it is another 8hrs or so. I guess I can't complain too much as I have to cover the entire country to get there.

Besides that all is well. Meeting some of the other volunteers is a lot of fun. Spending the night in Tamba before heading out to Thies and then back to my homestay.

No word on the mongoose but was told that the volunteer before the current one serving there now had a pet monkey. Thus there is hope for a mongoose. That or I might be forced to switched to a monkey that eats peanuts and distracts the "toubob" screaming children (not all children though just the "toubob" yelling ones)

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