Work has been fairly slow since the last blog post, but other events have occurred of interest.
The first of these is that the Peace Corps Mali family now has new additions. On April 11th a new group of volunteers took the oath to become full volunteers. The ceremony took place inside ATT’s compound (the president of Mali) and was widely attended. Three of these volunteers have been placed in San, two of them are incredibly close to me. Now, the nearest English speaker is a mere twenty minute bike ride away. This adds a new twist to site life and I’m very much looking forward to getting to know the new member of San Kaw.
One thing that having new volunteers has highlighted to me is how far I’ve come. Not only in my ability to speak Bambara, but also in how integrated I am to my community. Recently I helped administer the Polio vaccine (it’s an oral vaccine) to the children in my village. This entailed walking from house to house and it became clear that everyone knows me to some degree. I’m hoping to use my familiarity with the village to help improve farming techniques. In early June I’m looking to get trained in the most effective in farming techniques with my homologue and some other volunteers. Hopefully, this will lead to weekly classes with the farmers that will take place in the fields in order to pass these techniques along.
I’m going to be going back to the states for twenty days in order to attend two of my friends wedding (shout out to Mikey and Jen). Expect a lot of pictures to be posted while I’m home.