Jodie, Kenny and I atop the Falise in Dogon country
(UNESCO WH site)Sorry it's been a while since I last updated. I was able to go to the US for one month for the Christmas/New Year holiday, then when I returned I had the wonderful honor of hosting my cousin Jodie and my best friend Kenny out here in Mali. We did the big tour of Mali, went to my village, and spent some nice poolside time in Segou- which was more rewarding than usual because it was so horribly cold in Philly that we ALL couldn't wait to just sit in the sun and soak up some good 'ole vitamin D!
It's 2010 now, the last year of my Peace Corps service. I feel that I've accomplished a lot while here, but I still have a few projects to start and complete by June. I am hoping to at least flow $10,000 into projects here and right now I'm about up to $6,000. I have 2 more projects to do SO I can easily get reach my goal. Now, a goal of Peace Corps isn't to see how many projects you can accomplish while here, but my village is really motivated to work, and so am I so I'm taking advantage of my good situation!
I am continuing other projects that I've started and now I am working on repairing a second pump that will hopefully provide approx. 500 people with clean water. Another project is that the women of my village will be hosting a shea butter training. They've wanted to be the hostesses for a while, and this year we are finally able to hold it. There is a lot of prep work to go into this workshop, but it will be worth it. The women will learn how to properly extract the shea oil from the fruit/nut. As a result of this the women will have a healthier oil to cook with (as opposed to extracting the oil with dirt/dust and chickens around, unclean hands, and maybe dirty children all mixing in with their product which is typical here in Mali). With a cleaner oil they will also be able to sell their oil at a higher price, leading to many benefits for themselves, their children and the community as a whole.
Some highlights of the past 3 months:
*I ate American Fast Food and gained pounds while in the US
*I saw my Dad
*I saw almost my whole extended family and attended many wonderful parties which will leave me with many wonderful memories to reflect on when I get homesick
*I attended the Segou Music Festival and saw 2 awesome groups, and made it on the jumbotron 2 nights in a row for being an awesome dancer!!!
*Jodie and Kenny did awesome here in Mali- especially proud of Jodie for really never leaving the US before!
*My birthday is in 2 weeks and I'm planning a really fun party! I can't wait!
*I am really happy to be back in Mali. I missed my boyfriend and life in general here.
*I have finished updating my resume and have already begun sending it out. I'm planning on staying here for a few more years.
I like it here, I love my boyfriend and friends, and I like my work. So, I'll stay.
I now promise to write regularly again!