So, it's been a little while and I've heard a couple requests for another posting, just goes to show popularity is a hard thing to lose even when you're on the other side of the world, kind of. hahah jk!!! No really though, I only get a chance to use the internet when I am in Bamako, so it's kind of hard to keep everyone posted on what's going on when access to the internet is so rare. And, usually I just write a big email to family and friends so if you would like to get on that listserve just send me your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ok, so whats been going on with me? Well, right now I am in Bamako and staying at the Peace Corps Medical Office because it started with a throat infection. Adding to that, I developed a staff infection, some fever, and found out today that I have giardia which is a diarrheal illness caused by parasites. So, here in Mali it is very common for volunteers and I've been assured that it really isn't a big deal so I'm not really worried about that. So I've been a little sick, I guess adjusting to my new site and new food and what not.
We are in the "cold season" right now which means when night falls, the temperature gets to about 72 degrees. It's great considering the days are always so hot. It's funny though, because Malians can not deal with this kind of weather. So, one morning I'm walking to a little boutique near my house, and as I'm walking a teenage boy walks past me wearing a tshirt, a sweater over it, and a jacket with mittens, and the temperature was seriously no less than 78 degrees. During the night, they are always wearing jackets and sweatshirts, it's really funny.
As for me, I'm still studying French, which I'm required to do for my initial first 3 months of installation at my new site, and then after those 3 months are over which will be middle of January, I go back to the Peace Corps Headquarters in Tubaniso for a 3 week training period on our technical sector, mine being Small Enterprise Development, and when we have finished those 3 weeks, we go back to site and start working with our organizations. I will be working with CAEB, an NGO. They concentrate on micro-finance with women's groups but they all do much more stuff like water sanitation, education, health, HIV/AIDS awareness, and Agriculture. My homologue, counterpart, who is the head of the NGO in Kolokani, my site, wants me to work with the main caisse that borrows and lends money. A caisse is basically like an unofficial bank where people can deposit, lend, and borrow money. It is done to finance small projects and other things such as that. So, as of right now, that is the plan for me to be working with them. I don't know exactly what I'll be doing so in a few weeks I will make my way over to that Caisse and meet everyone and introduce myself and kind of analyze and assess the situation and enviornment and see what I can do to maybe make things more efficient and try to bring in some new fresh ideas.
As for secondary projects, I really want to work in the High School teaching English, so I will start that in a couple months too. My tutor right now is actually the English teacher from the High School, so we have already discussed me working there a couple times of week so I think that would be a really good opportunity for me.
So I don't think I really have that much more, sorry for the long overdue post but I will try my best to keep everyone updated. Thank you for your support and take care.
Oh yea I'm super skinny now, too. I lost like 15 lbs so if anyone feels obliged to send protein, jerkey, and other things, dont hesitate! ha thank
Here are a couple links to pictures from Halloween and my house in Kolokani, enjoy.
Westin Crosby, PCV
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