Monday, May 10, 2010
Ten months after applying, I have received my invitation to join the Peace Corps! My assignment will be in Burkina Faso, in Africa, which is one of the poorest countries in the world. I will be working in the Girls Education and Empowerment program as a Community Education and Development Outreach Worker. I leave the country on June 22, but I will leave Cleveland June 2, visiting for a while in New Hampshire with Dawn and her family and then going to Maryland to stay with Janet and her family until I leave the country. The long stay with Janet is so that I can try to get a little French immersion before I leave. Janet, Jonathan, Abby and Ellie all speak French and I will have a chance to practice speaking with them.
As I understand it, I will most likely be placed in a village without electricity and, of course, without access to the internet. I have been reading blogs by other Peace Corps volunteers in Burkina Faso, so I know it is possible to post things from time to time, and will try to do so whenever possible. I have taught my last class at John Carroll University and will be winding down my duties as department chair. I keep thinking I should be feeling sad about ending my teaching career, but I am so excited about finally doing a tour of service with the Peace Corps that I just count off the milestones as steps toward that goal.
I called my last Cleveland area contra dance on May 1, and the band in which I am usually playing, Mud in Yer Eye, had a cake with “Bon Voyage” and an equivalent phrase in Morre on it! See above for a picture of it. Morre is one of the many languages spoken in Burkina Faso. One of the women in the band is working on a project related to girls’ education that has a site in Burkina Faso and asked a colleague what one would say in that culture. The small world phenomenon strikes again! Saturday was my last dance with One String Short in Greentown, and we had a great crowd. What a great way to end my contra dance calling here. One final party with the band and friends at Plymouth Church on May 30, and then I leave on this adventure.