A quick update…
I have moved to my new home and permanent site, it’s located in the Kolda Region of Southern Senegal. So far it has been going very well! In the first few months my focus will be on integration into my community, getting to know the people and culture, and furthering my language skills. The official language here is French but the most widely spoken is Wolof, followed by Pulaar. I am learning the Fulakunda dialect of Pulaar. Similar to what you hear in this short video lesson. Here are some photos of my family and where I live.
My village is large with about 1000 people, peaking seasonally during harvests and planting (we just finished the peanut harvest and are starting to plant various veggies. I continue to get more and more ideas as I gain a better understanding of the landscape and some of the things the folks in my village and area want to do. Until then each day I continue to greet my community (which leads to adventures to see people’s homes, fields, and gardens) and work in the women’s garden. I have really enjoyed working in the women’s garden, as it has helped me get to know some of the people in the community and better understand how this is a communal space is cared for and looked after by everyone. This years rice, millet and peanut harvest was much less successful than past years due to a lack of rainfall. Something potentially devastating for a community that depends on its food and income largely from the crops that it produces. Thankfully the women's garden is a resource where other food can be grown the make up for the poor harvest. Recently we transplanted onions that had been planted by seed and growing in a nursery. The planting occurred over several days and involved the entire village.
In mid-February we will return to the training center (TTC) for the next part of our technical training, called In-Service Training or IST. Following this I will begin to do more Agroforestry work in and around my village.