Sunday, May 28, 2006

In Service Training

I'm half way through in service training. We're back to the training site in Hamdy, which is nice. They have good food, and lots of it, and real showers. They also have laundry service once a week :-). The training is more fun this time too. We have had more demonstrations and hands on stuff that is applicable to our job, instead of just lots of language and culture. Wednesday we got to go to ICRISAT, a research institute trying to develop better crop varieties and farming methods suited to dry climates. There is a PCV there working with them, actually the same PCV that was in my village before me. I may try to move there when she leaves and work with them to promote their methods and such throughout the country. It would be great experience if I decide to go into the green industry in the states. I don't imagine that a year with an international horticultural research facility would be anything to scoff at. Nothing is definite and it's a long ways away.

Village life is good, if boring. We've had a few sprinkles, but no real rains yet. I think I'm going to farm this season, if I get back in time to plant. I'll be there in a week or so, so there should be plenty of time. I will probably plant millet and beans. I'll also be planting a lot of vegetables in my concession. They don't garden during the rainy season, and I may have to try to encourage that. They have little time, what with the working in the fields and all, but could make some serious cash (by nigerian standards anyway) in the market if they grew some veggies too. Still working on the rabbit thing, talking to lots of folks to figure out how best to go about it. I also don't have a camel yet, but I'm getting closer to it. I should really wait until after rainy season so I don't have to keep it tied up and bring it food.

In general, all is well, I haven't lost any more weight, thank goodness, and I'm going on two weeks illness free (knock on wood). I've been getting lots of goodies :-), Thank you all for the packages! I'll try to get another round of letters ready to send your way soon. I'll be back in Niamey next weekend, so keep an eye out for me fri/sat/sun online.

P.S. It seems I've started a trend :-)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Arg! Sick again!

I had a viral upper respiratory infection for about a week.  That was no fun, lemme tell ya! 103.5 in 110 weather is pretty miserable, but all is well now.  I came into Niamey to see the doctor and recouperate a bit.  I've been in every 2 weeks now.  I'm not complaining, but I should try to stay at my post more.  I was sick, so I had reasons, but still.  Now I'll go out to post and spend a week before I have to come back in for more two more weeks of training.  Oh well, I'm pretty integrated, so I don't think it's that big of a deal.

My village wants a grain bank and a school, and I want to start rabbits, so I think I have enough projects to keep me busy for a while.  Tomorrow I'll have been in Niger for 4 months.  Seems like it's gone fast, yet I feel like I've been here forever, wierd. Wednesday will be the 2 month mark as a PCV, only 22 months to go! 
It's hard to believe that soon we'll have a new group of trainees in a couple of months, then we won't be the newbies anymore.  That will be kind of nice, but they'll also expect us to know what we're doing.  It will be nice to have new english speakers to talk to though :-) 
We're almost done with hot season, and I think one is enough.  My friends and I are planning to head to Ghana next year when it gets hot.  I can say I survived hot season in the Sahel, at over 110 degrees, I don't need to do it twice!  It should rain any time now, though the forcast is pretty flaky here.  Last year I hear it rained last week in April, but we're still waiting.  I can't wait to see it start to get green here!  I'll be sure to post pics of before & after rain :-)
Well, not really sure what else I have exciting, I appreciate all the mail I've been getting, It really is like christmas when I go to the post office :-).  I hope to get some more responses in the mail soon, so keep an eye out.