So quick, in fact, that I don’t even have time to come up with a snappy title to entice my reader (apologies Prof. Siegler, no ‘Accusations of Atheism’ here)! Packing for two years takes time people…
A couple of days ago I received some new information about my departure and training that negates what I said previously about my contact for the next couple months. It appears that I will NOT have internet access during training. Hamdallaye, the small village where we will be living through the end of December, has no internet cafes or other facilities. But I remind you all…snail mail!
I have learned quite a bit more about what my schedule will be like during training and, since it seems I won’t be able to describe it as it unfolds, I’ll provide a quick rundown now. My fellow trainees and I, young and wildly enthusiastic, will arrive in
Thursday and Friday nights will be spent at the training center (I’m confident there will be spontaneous rounds of Kumbayah, hopefully with accompanying dance numbers). In our first few days we will be bombarded with a variety challenges and instruction: survival tips, a village tour, meeting the chief, language assessment, and a session on the use of Nigerien tools.
On Saturday, I will meet the family with whom I will be living for the duration of my nine-week training period. Depending upon which language I will be learning, my adoptive family will speak only Hausa or Zarma. Most of my days will be full of community-based language classes, cross-cultural and technical training, and medical, safety, and security instruction. Each day, I will receive a stipend of 1,500 CFA for all my expenses. At roughly three dollars a day, I remain a pretty cheap date.
After three weeks, each trainee will embark upon a demystification weekend, a visit to a volunteer currently in the field. (On a side note: I’m really hoping this is the weekend we get to pick our spirit-animal). Time will be spent meeting friends and neighbors and witnessing first-hand what life is like in the
Because I’m in a hurry, I’ll give the rest of the training schedule in bullet form, because really, I’ve always believed that’s how papers should be turned in anyway:
Week 4: Site Placement Interviews
Week 5: Site Announcements
Week 7: Live-In (Visit to Permanent Site)
Week 9: Language Proficiency Test and Final Evaluation
December 30: Official Swearing-In at
Wish me luck!