Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Catching up... [Part 3]

Still going strong with these posts where I'm catching up from activities last year.

Trouvez votre inspiration! 

The PCVs in the Kaolack region hosted our second annual girls camp last summer - and the overall theme was "Trouvez votre inspiration" (Find your inspiration).  About 12 PCVs (including me) selected 2-4 girls from their communities to attend the week-long camp.  Each day involved a different theme from health to environment to careers.  We had local female teachers there all week to act as small group leaders and assist with discussions and other activities.  There were more serious/educational sessions, such as ones on how to start a tree nursery, career options for women in Senegal, sexual health, and eating healthy, as well as more fun sessions, such as daily yoga, various sporting games (ex., kickball, softball and swimming), spa night, movie night, skits and a game show the last night.  Everyone (girls, PCVs and teachers) learned a lot and had a great time - plans are already in place for another camp this year!


Last year marked my third Korite in Senegal.  Unlike the other Muslim holidays that I had celebrated in Kayemor, I didn't have my host mom buy fabric and get my outfit made - I bought my outfit myself.  In good Senegalese fashion, I also had my hair braided by my namesake's daughter and had my right hand and feet decorated by my friend Yassay.

Yassay showing off her Korite outfit.
My host mom, Soukaye, looking very fancy in her new clothes!
Two girls in my family who also wanted to show off their new clothes - and their modeling skills! - for the camera.  :)

Other kids in my family all dressed up!

Yassay even wrote my Senegalese name, "Ndeye Diaw", down the ring toe on my right foot.


Whenever there is a big rain, the area between my hut and the rest of my family's compound floods, which provides a fun traipsing ground for the kids in my family.

Sine Saloum 96.4 FM Radio Communautaire

Starting about 8 months into my service through the end of my time in Kayemor, I made a radio show for the first Monday of every month for the local community radio station in Kaolack, 96.4 FM.  I always pre-recorded the show since that allowed me to interview agricultural technicians, farmers, development workers or other people involved in work related to agriculture and/or development in my area.  These interviews were much more effective than me talking for a whole hour because the people I interviewed were always native Wolof speakers.  Even though I worked really hard (and still work hard!) to perfect my Wolof, I am still far from sounding like a native speaker, especially on the radio.  Peace Corps Senegal bought some digital audio recorders for all the PCVs who make radi shows, so I used one of those to record my interviews and then edited them with Audacity, free audio editing software, throwing in some fun American music in the pauses in the interviews.  Then I would convert the show to an MP4 file, which the radio station would play during my radio show hour.

These photos were taken one day when I went to drop off my radio show for the next week. These are just a handful of the many people who volunteer at the radio station - either working the controls or hosting weekly shows.

Volunteer Visit:

Last September, as my 2 years in Kayemor were coming to an end, I hosted my replacement (who was still just a Trainee then) and another Trainee for a few days in Kayemor.  Many PCVs, when their 2 year service is over, leave their village or town just as another PCV is arriving, with the goal that the projects that the leaving PCV started will be continued by the just-arriving PCV.  So, just as I replaced another PCV, someone else replaced me in Kayemor.  During those 3 days in Kayemor, I gave Tom (my replacement) and Amanda (who is stationed in a village just 6km away from Kayemor - a new site for a PCV) a tour of Kayemor and the surrounding area.  We met tons of people and had fun wandering around seeing the sites of Kayemor: goats climbing on the broken school wall, the marabou's mosque, millet silhouetted by the setting sun, baobob fruit on the tree, rice, a donkey, goats playing soccer, my backyard, the road and river between Tom and Amanda's villages, a fisherman, and the "bridge of death".  It was a whirlwind tour, but I think it helped give them a better idea of what Volunteer life and work in the village is like.

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