a new kind of resume

machete, warthog, africa, peace corps, senegal, pig

Peace Corps service has brought out my untapped potential. I am more resourceful, self motivated, patient and proactive. Yet, I can’t help but question the “real life” application of some of the new skills I have acquired… Riding a bike: Before coming to Senegal, I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was 14 years old (except a rather traumatizing bike tour of Tuscany in 2005). Now, my bike is my primary mode of transportation. I take it on joy rides through the bush. I race down hills and cross a stream on my daily commute. I can transport boxes, chairs,… read this post

a walk, some wire, and a lot of tears

peace corps, senegal, africa, west africa, injury, medical, blood, foot, leg

Alternative title: How I ended up in a Senegalese hospital. Earlier this week, I was walking down the road at dusk, on my way to visit a friend and break the Ramadan fast with her family. I stumbled over my flip flops (remember my new ones) and felt a piece of metal pierce my skin. I bent down to pull the piece of metal wire I saw sticking out of my foot–thinking that it had just pricked the surface–and just kept on pulling. A couple inches later, I was grasping a long rusted piece of metal, and blood was pouring… read this post

looking back, looking forward

music, child, kid, senegal, west africa, peace corps

I survived my first year as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal! Looking back. This year…. I learned a new language. I figured out how to keep myself clean using only a bucket of water and a cup. I learned to cook a meal for myself using just one burner hooked up to a gas can. I learned to balance about 15 gallons of water in a benoir on my head. I relearned how to ride a bike. I acted as a translator for the NGO Right to Sight and Health when they came to Kedougou and restored sight to… read this post

packing list – revisited

peace corps, packing, list, staging

A year ago when I was preparing for my Peace Corps departure one of the things I found most helpful were packing lists that previous volunteers had posted on their blogs. So I posted my own list, and I’ve decided to come back, re-examine my list so that any future Peace Corps volunteers out there know what I found helpful and what wasn’t worth its weight. Please keep in mind I am an Urban Agriculture volunteer (my city is small–about 20,000–but I have electricity and a couple small western-style stores with a very limited selection). Also, I live in the… read this post