Last week I returned from a short vacation with 2 other volunteers from my region—four fun and relaxing days following some decidedly unproductive NGO business meetings. We were up in Diego, a larger city in the far north that we reached after 10 hours on the only road out of my region, a rough 90 mile dirt track that is only passable during the dry season.
Diego attracts many more visitors than
We spent a day at
Now I hope you don’t get the idea that I live like this every day! Days of lounging at the beach are about as rare for me here as they are when I’m in the States. (Well, OK, almost as rare.) But amazingly, I was able to do it all within my usual stipend, since I had a bit saved up and as volunteers we were able to stay at a volunteer transit house and get resident prices for entrance to parks and such.
As Peace Corps volunteers, I hardly need to add that we spent a lot of time EATING! We especially enjoyed our meals at a Spanish Tapas restaurant, where we chatted with the French owner in Malagasy since it was the language that we communally understood the best.
And now I’m back at site. We’ve bought materials for the 3 wells and the building of the first well in Anamboafo should get started on Tuesday, though of course weather is always an issue. We also found a librarian for the community library (the school director’s daughter—nepotism of course, which doesn’t surprise me and I suppose they have a fairly limited pool of middle school graduates to choose from anyway). In any case, the library will definitely open in about three weeks, but I’m still holding the books hostage in my house until they finish building a table and I can talk to the librarian about what hours she’ll be open.
This coming week I’m also hosting a 3-day English teacher training for rural English teachers in my area. The training will be led by one of the Education volunteers in the regions, with me acting as assistant and translator (since just because they’re English teachers doesn’t mean they speak English!) The following pictures are courtesy of PCV Felicia: