Trip Start Mar 15, 2005
27Trip End Apr 01, 2007
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I hope you all had a nice 4th of july! I certainly missed the yearly family get together in Maine. Here in Kolda we did our best to recreate the american experience with some loud music, and lots of good american style food. On the night of the third there were seven volunteers staying over at the house helping to prepare for our gathering the next day. we decided to purchase a pig from sikilo, a neighborhood near my garden. it probably weighed near 30 pounds, and cost us a wopping 12 thousand cfa (approximately 24 dollars). at our last house meeting two of the guys from the area and i decided between the three of us we could handle slaughtering the pig, butchering, and cooking. The adventure began with a jeep ride to sikilo.
All seven volunteers piled into the vehicle, our PCV leader behind the wheel. The gentleman we bought the pig from did the hog tying as we all stood around with our mouths wide open in horror at the sound the pig was making..(and continued to make for the duration of the ride back to our regional house.) we got him safely home, and placed him under our mango tree for his last night on earth. thankfully he fell silent.
the next morning we woke early to prepare for the process. this involved tying some rope in a tree next to the cement cover to the septic tank, which later became a butchering block. I'll spare the details, however will mention that our dinner met its maker with dignity. There was surprisingly little debris in the meat considering i did much of the butchering with a machete and a pic ax looking senegalese hatchet on a cement block that cracked every time i took a swing. The ribs were scrumptious.
i learned the pulaar word for slaughter too. hirsude. all in all, a very educational independence day.
Things in sarre Kemo, my neighborhood, are going very well. there is a baptism tomorrow that i look forward to seeing. the father is a guard at the regional house, and i have really enjoyed his company. He helped to find the family im staying with and has been very encouraging.
The rainy season has officially begun which means the fields along the casamance river are being cultivated and planted. My host father has a couple plots, but hasnt finished with school yet so hasnt been able to get out there.
This sunday im going to the 'Kolda girls club' with the daughters of my counterpart. its a chance for young girls to meet and talk about subjects ranging from health, business and family structure, to agriculture. Each interested volunteer brings one or two girls, we eat, then invite a guest speaker, or find one and bring the girls to him or her. I look forward to the chance to spend some time with the two young ladies im bringing because they both strike me as being interested in doing and learning more than the local cultural limitations say they should.
Next week im going to ride 45 km to another volunteers village and try to teach several groups of young kids about soccer. i have to bargain in the market this week for a quality ball..which might be difficult. It will be fun to experience a smaller village as opposed to kolda so i can better understand the difficulties most volunteers face at their sites. the Urban agriculture and small business development volunteers are really the only ones who are frequently placed in urban settings. Most of my friends from stage are in situations very different from my own.
This update unfortunately will be a short one. i havent been to my garden in three days because of the party preparations, and so am going a little early today to do a survey. i try to keep a fairly accurate field journal so i can better plan for next rainy season.
thanks for all your support!