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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Swear in Night

Swear In

Sokolo

I have now been a PCV for just over a month. I'm currently spending a few days in the region capital of Segou, Segou. Here I have been eating all the food it is impossible to find at site, swimming at the two pools in the ritzy hotels, flirting with two volunteers from Belgium and watching movies. It has been a nice break, although things at site have been quite nice.
Within Sokolo I have found the bare minimum of the things I need to have a happy two years. I can play soccer with the locals around my age. We play on the dirt courtyard of the school. There is a large well on the right side of the field which makes for an interesting obstacle for the mid fielders. Everyone plays in "yorow" or jellies and the organization reminds me a lot of a team of 7 year olds in the states, moving around the field in a large pack, heads down with no real concept of where the field ends or begins aside for the school buildings that border a large section. Some of the kids have amazing touches. We actually have a few shops that sell cold sodas. I found a few friends to spend the evenings with, listening to Malian music and drinking the overly sweet tea they are all so fond of. Also, I recently got electricity in my mud hut. I get one light and an outlet from 7 pm until around midnight. It has helped immensely to keep the roaches at bay in the lighted room, although as soon so the lights cut out you can here them slowly emerging out of the roof. I have also planted a small garden, tomatoes, melons, peppers, and I purchased basil, eggplant, carrots, salad and a few other varieties of tomato seeds this week in Segou. I'm fertilizing with my own urine, which I have been collecting a large plastic jug. Apparently it is a very cheap (obviously, although my urine my be a little more expensive since I drink so many Fantas) and effective nitrogen fertilizer, diluted to 1 part pee pee to 3 parts water. I've prepared a few of the natural pesticides, which don't seem to be as effective as I hoped although the garlic and hot pepper one does have a nice smell. Other than that I have been "yala yala" -ing, or walking around, within the village trying to work on my Bambara and meeting all the people I might be working with in the future. The Bambara is coming pretty well. For instance, I successfully talked my way out of paying an exorbitant fee for running stop sign on my new bike. Oh yes my bike. I recently received my new Trek from the Peace Corp, just in from the States. It's shinny and bright red, which of course receives a ton of attention around town.
All in all things are very good. I'm happy most of the time and have been able to read more books than I ever thought I would want to. I'm off to site tomorrow until Halloween when I'll go to San and then to Bamako to watch the election. Miss everyone at home almost as much as I miss good food, you cannot conceive of how many different ways they find to eat rice, rice powder, nearly powdered rice, rice, rice porridge yum yum. Feel free to call anytime as I'm living under the cell phone tower, 2234780057.