Thursday, 3 July 2014

Site Announcement!

Yesterday was site announcement; that’s where we’re told where we’ll be stationed to teach for the next two years. It’s really all we’ve been talking about the last week and a half.  But first let me talk about my second interview to give insight on how the Bureau Staff came to the conclusion of our site placement.

Back in May, we (Group 30) received a five page document containing questions on our preferences on many different variables: biking, rural or urban settings, our thoughts about children, etc. Last week, we had our second interview with Lucille (from the Bureau Staff), to see how we felt since we had been in-country and how well we were adapting to living with our host families.

I stated that I didn’t mind biking. I currently live a 15 minute bike ride from the school, but mind you, it’s all dirt, extremely bumpy, and more like a maze. I also said that I loved my host family and how they were extremely nice to me. Ending the interview, I declared, “I know everyone has asked this, but I would really like electricity in my house,” (haha), then I asked for a toilet. Hopefully I get the electricity; pooping in a hole isn’t too bad when you get to sleep at night with a fan. I also said that I missed my independence, and would really like to live by myself, since I knew that some sites shared courtyards.

I don’t know how they come up with an algorithm to conclude who goes to which site, but so far I have been very happy with where they have placed me in Burkina, with my Group 30, and with my host family.

So for site announcement, it was a very big day. We met our new Country Director, received the last of our vaccination shots, had to complete a post-med test, and we finally would find out about our SITES!!!!

It was in a celebration format: tons of food, some music, we got chocolate (so yummy), and then a scavenger hunt to start off the process. They called up the volunteers individually, and we received a paper person to place on the map at our new location, and received our packet of information for our site.

I have the site of Meguet, with which I’m thrilled. I was also fortunate to have a long description of my village. I share a courtyard with two other female teachers at my same school. It’s a town of approximately 7,000 people, and there is a festival in December for the Chef (Chief).

There is a market there every three days, where I can find pretty much everything I need. Hopefully I can lose weight with a spread out market. Ouaga is close though – about three hours away. If I need something I can take a ride into town. My regional capitol is Zorgho, and is 25km away. There is a new pre-school, which also requested a volunteer. I found out later that a couple was supposed to be replacing the previous volunteer. I don’t know what happened to them, but I’m excited to be going because I also read that I HAVE ELECTRICITY!!!! Omg I’m so happy. I’m one of the few! For the first time in a long time I feel truly blessed!

It’s my site. All my own, and I can’t wait to make my house my home for the next two years. I’m excited to decorate, cook for myself, and be on my own in Africa. The volunteer I am replacing is Diego, another SVT teacher. We have site next visit next week and I can ask a bunch of questions then because he will still be there.

Many volunteers in my group are being sent to new sites, or their previous volunteer has already left. I want to inquire about secondary projects as well. These are a big part of our service, I have come to realize. We are encouraged to work and incorporate the community of both the regional capital (Zorgho) and the site (Meguet) as much as possible. We will see; I’m anxious to help, but I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew. Being in Meguet, I need to learn simple conversation words in Moore. I can’t wait for my parents to come! They are so excited to see Africa and where I will be staying!    :))))

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