Hello everyone!! I'm in Niamey right now getting ready for In Service Training. I am excited to see all of my stagemates and have fun doing more American type things like going out to restaurants and shopping!! I have a few things to talk about today that I haven't had a chance to comment on in the last month because I haven't had access to the internet. A few weeks ago a couple of volunteers and I were just finished with a radio show and waiting for a bush taxi at the tasha. We were all 4 sitting on the edge of a prayer ring, which consists of a few cement bricks stacked about 3 high in a rectangle. The volunteers I was with were Allie, Will and Lachlan. We were just sitting and talking when a man walked up to us and addressed the guys in french/hausa and started telling them that he was sorry, but "the women" had to move, it was ok for the boys to sit where they were, but Allie and I would have to get up and sit somewhere else. I asked him if it was ok if we just sat in front of the bricks instead of on them, but he said no, and we all just awkwardly sat there not knowing what to do. Eventually Allie and I got up and so did Will and Lachlan and we walked across the street and sat against a building. That was the first time I felt discrimination at all for being a woman. For the most part, being a foreigner in Niger puts us in a different category and no one really treats us different than the guys. It was a crazy experience that I think I needed to realize what women here actually go through. I have never felt like I was less than anyone else, and I still don't, but I realize that women here are shown every day that they aren't able to do the things men are, and I guess it's shown me very blatantly what I need to work on here in my village. Thanks for listening!!
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