Saturday, November 25, 2006

Happy Yesterday!

I hope everyone had a happy thanksgiving.  We did here.  We had a lot of good food, including mashed taters, chicken noodle soup, green beans, salad, stuffed mushrooms, filet mignon, and squash soup.  There were a couple of groups that got together for dinners, then we all met at a pcv's place to play cranium. (my team won)  Got to talk to most of the family on the phone, which was very nice.  I hadn't talked to many of them in months.  We killed 2 chickens to make the soup, which was a new experience for many, very educational. 

I got a new blackboard and chalk for the school in my village.  It's new this year and they don't have much in the way of supplies.  I'll take it out next week on the shuttle, they'll be delighted.  We've got over 50 kids that attend school every day, hopefully the next generation in Holoballe will be able to read and write! 

I get to be a trainer for the new group in february.  Two weeks on the training site eating great food and chatting with a whole new group of pcvs.  It will be a lot of fun.  I'll probably move villages before hand, which will be nice - less to worry about after the training.

I got a new donkey.  It's all white with blue eyes.  It's not very good with riding yet, but it can pull a cart.  It came with the pcv's who were moving the horse across country and doing educational sessions in villages as they went.  They couldn't get it to pull their cart, so they got another and couldn't sell this one.  They were broke, so I bought it from them when they got to Balleyara.  It's turning out to be an okay donkey though.  Might sell it to the villagers when I move.  I'm not sure I want to walk to Sadore with the donkey, and I doubt they'll put it in the land cruiser.

Going back out to HB tomorrow morning bright and early, then will be back in a week to pick up the folks, WooHoo!  I hope they have a good journey here, and I'll do my best to keep them entertained once they arrive.  I've got plenty planned, and my villagers are excited to meet them.

There's a whole bunch of new audio posts up, so enjoy those until I get back into town.  That's all for now!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Here goes nothing...

I got the audio loaded. There's even a nifty player on the left side of the page there for you. For those of you who listen to podcasts, you can subscribe with the button underneath, and for the rest of you you can just listen on the site. I know they are a bit out of date, but it's a start. I will try to start recording every day or so, and publish them when I get into town. Probably whenever you see a new entry here, there will be new audio. but, on with the news...

I got back from Zinder today, that was a long bus trip! 12 hours is a long time, even when you have three seats to yourself. Today I got to ride in the newest bus that had tv's and speakers over each seat. That just means it's more annoying when they play the local music. There's no escape! If I hear that song with the laughing/crying/pooping baby again I might go balistic!

Zinder was really nice though, kind of a smaller version of Niamey. They have restaurants and such, artisans, etc. They just don't have grocery stores and nice western style restaurants. The transit house there is really nice as well. I'm jealous every time I go visiting. Balleyara's hostel is nice, but it doesn't hold a candle to zinder, or even Gotheye, at least they have cement buildings. Oh well, soon I won't have one at all, but it's a fiar trade to have an air conditioned office with internet :-).

I am going back to the bush tomorrow, and I'm not sure when I'll come back into town. I think I'll be in for the COS party on the 17th, but it will only be for the evening and I probably wont' get on the computer to chat much, MAYBE i'll have time to update the blog, but I'm going out again the next day. I've got to get this grain bank rolling! Hopefully the villagers have done some work without me, but I'm not going to hold my breath. I don't know if I'll make it into Niamey for Thanksgiving, we'll have to see how the bank is coming along. I should probably pick either thanksgiving or the COS party, as I haven't been in the village much lately. We're also down to less than a month till Mom & Dad come! It will be a lot of fun showing them around.

Wish me luck on the grain bank. I'll try to get the audio going. And that's all for now!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Zinder, Here I come!

Came in to Niamey for an FAO training on Farmer's Field Schools.  It seems a great program where farmers and gardeners get together and discuss what problems they're having and what solutions they can use.  Unfortunately, we really don't have time to implement it for gardening season this year.  We'll probably do a watered down version, which is kind of what they should be doing anyway.  Anyway, it's been a long three days.

As a highlight, I got to go to the Marine Birthday Ball last night with Alex and Alison.  It was great to go to a formal event here, we have some semi formal things like swear in, but nothing black tie. Granted I don't have a suit or anything so I wore Seabass's boubou (forgot mine in the bush).  There was great food, dancing, and an open bar, WOOT!  It was a good time.

Tonight at 4am I head out to Zinder.  It's about a 12 hour bus ride, so that will be fun.  At least its not a bush taxi.  And I'll have my omnipod with me, so I can listen to some music or watch a movie.  I'll be visiting foks out there, and talking with some about work.  Then friday, back here, and out to the bush again on sat.

It's going to be an incredibly busy next few months, what with the grain bank, seed distribution, visitors, christmas, moving, and training newbies.  I'm hoping to be one of the lucky few that gets to spend two weeks training the new group and eating great food back in Hamdalaye.  It will be great though, especially after the move to Icrisat!

So far I still have Tarzan, but Djibo says we need to sell him as he's to skittish to ride much.  I'm okay with that as I could use the money, and maybe I'll get a horse after the move. 

I'm going to try an audio blog, so I can inflict my voice upon you as well.  I can record entries in the bush on my omnipod, and then upload them for your listening pleasure. I'm still working out the technical details, but I'll keep you posted.

I think that's all I've got for now, but I'll try to post again friday night.