I'm in my last week in Niger, going through all of the medical checks and writing all of my final reports. I'm having some issues with my plane ticket because everyone (except me) seems to think it's fine for me to have 5 layovers and switch airports from JFK to La Guardia in about 3 hours. I'm a little stressed out! Everything else has been going well, and I'm hoping not to do any work this weekend and spend my time with my friends who are also leaving next week. The chateau started in the village last week and the village was happy. We ran into a couple of problems in regards to who was giving a part of their field for the chateau, and how the village was going to deal with having only one well for about two weeks. It's Ramadan so everyone is hungry and cranky, but it will be fine once the building is done. The villagers are all very thankful to everyone in America who helped fund the chateau and who sent sunglasses and other presents throughout my service. Another volunteer will be sending me a picture when the chateau is completed and I'll be sure to post it so everyone can see. Thank you all for your support while I've been living in Niger and I hope to see you all soon!! Love Katie
Doctors perform operations in the capital city, Niamey,to correct fistulas caused by the lack of medical attention available to pregnant women. Katie translates between the doctors and their patients in Hausa. Other volunteers also participate translating Zarma, and French.
This is the second time Katie has been able to participate in this program and has indicated that it has been a very rewarding experience for her.
Hello again everyone! I'm still here in Niger, and in health! Hope the holidays went well, I was missing America, but things were good here. So, my chateau project is coming along, Rotary is still finalizing the budget approval, but we're hoping to get everything ready soon! As for me, I'm enjoying the village and the cold season. It's nice to sleep inside in my sleeping bag. It's nice to be able to go the whole day without sweating. But of course, every season has it's postitive and negatives, and for me the main drawback to cold season is all of the nasal infections. How do I get the infections you may ask? (only if you've never been here during cold season, otherwise you know) Well, cold season is also dry season, which we all know causes hard boogers. And it really hurts to blow your nose if you have them, so you have to either pick your nose or farmer blow it. It draws much less attention to just pick it, so that's my normal choice. And because you never know when and where you'll need to pick, I occasionally pick it after playing with dirty children and keep ending up with impetago(sp?) in my nose. I have gone to the Med Office in the past, but it's embarrassing to be told to "be cleaner" when I'm a health volunteer... So, I've stopped going, and I have come to accept the fact that I'll have a sore nose for a couple months. So for anyone planning on coming to Niger during cold season (November-February), bring hand sanitizer or wet ones and avoid it all together, because it's impossible not to play with the cute little kids everywhere you go.
Katie uploaded some pictures of her villagers wearing the sunglasses she brought them. Hopefully she'll be able to put a few more up, but check these out for now! She packed 3 suitcases when she went back to Africa after her visit. One contained food (oatmeal, jerky,powerbars, crackers and such) the other two contained as many sunglasses as she could pack, close to 300. Fifty were confiscated at customs in Niger-so the officials are going to look pretty cool, I guess! I'm not sure how she is determining who to give them to-maybe she'll give us a clue the next time she is able to post. Enjoy the photos (Katie's mom)
I just got to Africa today and its very different. It doesn't feel like I'm across the ocean or on another continent, more like the begining of camp. We met some PCV's that have been here for a year andthy are all happy & love being here. We are all staying at the Peace Corps camp tonight & tomorrow night and then Sunday we move in with our adoptive families who we'll be living with for all 3 months of training. I don't know how much I'll like the training, but I'm excited to be sworn in and move to my village. There are 3 groups of volunteers; the ed, municipal and health. I'm sleeping under a mosquito net outside right now & its not too hot. We have showers & flush toilets here but won't when we move on Sunday. We passed a bunch of villages on our way to Hamdallay for training & there are tons of cute little babies, so I'm really excited to get language over so we can actually do our jobs. Some things I could use that I didn't bring are coloring books, Chaco sandals colored pencils/sharpeners soccer balls a head lamp Some earings w/studs (b/c I found out we can wear them) rubber bands-caus I lose them a lot