Trip Start Dec 01, 2007
37Trip End Mar 27, 2010
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I wrote a letter to my mom on Wednesday trying to explain why this has become so difficult and I'm going to include an excerpt of it here because I think it explains my thoughts coherently, "Do you think this gets any easier? because it seems like its getting harder. The more integrated I become the more the community feels comfortable to critisize me. I won't come home for good unless they send me home but this is hard. And it's not even the food I miss most. I'm pretty good at cooking. I miss people knowing what is appropriate to say. I miss not being ripped off because I'm white. I miss "Bless You" when I sneeze. They don't say anything. I miss hugs. They don't hug. It's insubstantial things like that. Sure I miss washing machines and movies, a down comforter, air conditioning, cold drinks and cheddar cheese but it's not too terrible to do without the nicities of life. It's the culture. Maybe I'm going through a more profound culture shock than I first experienced. It was obvious differences that hit you in the face when you first get here. The lack of things. Maybe I'm just starting to realize the difference there is between us as people. They don't think the way I do. In order to do my job well I need to understand and accept their way of thinking and right now I'm rebeling against that."
When I just couldn't take it anymore I went to Kissidougou. Zach had left me his keys. I became a hermit for a day. I spent an entire day in his house reading and it was just the recharge I needed. The next day Sarah came and spent four days with me. She was amazing and lifted my spirits tremendously. We cooked so much good food, pasta salad, spring rolls, omlettes and hash browns, PB & J, etc. We even got work done. I scheduled a malaria sensibilization with the principal of the elementary school for World Malaria Day on April 25th. I prepared a review Jeparady game for my English classes. I learned how to make a mud stove. It was great.
I have a couple other exciting events coming up. More training in 2 weeks, so I'll get to see everyone and that will last for 2 weeks. At my Health Center we're going to have 3 days of training for community midwives. I'm planning on painting murals at the Health Center and planting a Moringa tree nursery at the Health Center and the elementary school. Moringa is a miracle tree. It is so good for you, grows quickly and is very easy to care for but my village has never heard of it. David, who is an agfo volunteer, is coming to help me in early June. At the end of June we're having a Girls Conference. Katie and I are presenting on Family Planning so in the next month or so we'll be visiting each other. Looking farther to the future I'm planning on coming home in September. One of my best friends is getting married and I am supposed to be in the wedding. Unfortantely, it is very expensive and I can't come even close to affording it. So I've set up a paypal account that is attached to this blog and I'm accepting donations. The cheapest is $1200. I already got one donation from my amazing boss at UD. Love you Judy!
Ok I just want to put a little blurb about the political/economical situation in Guinea, in case any of you are worried. Gas prices have doubled like I said in my last blog increasing the prices of most other things as they need to be transported to where we are. Rice prices are climbing with shortages around the world and as that's a staple food item the people are being hit hard. Guinea has banned the exporation of rice and other staple food items. Flour is increasing in price because of the wheat plague in Eastern Africa. So far things are calm. People are complaining but everyone is waiting to see how the government is going to react. So that's where we are right now. Ok I'm going to some islands today so I need to go get ready.