Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Few Random Notes...

After a thorough crotchal examination, Chelsea and I discovered that the kitten I picked up as actually a he. His name is Pierre Esteban Vieira Herion-Szabo (a.k.a. Petey). I brought him back to Ain, and he's the most well-behaved little thing. My family thinks I'm a little crazy for having a pet (they don't do that here), but they thought I was a little crazy before, so no harm done. Also, they captured another kitten thinking it was Petey, tied her up and left her for me to find. So I now have two identical kittens. They're super cute together, but I feel like two cats a cat-lady makes, so we'll see what I do with the second one.

Work is about to start getting a little crazy. I'm aiming to open up my GMC on March 8 (International Women's Day). In between now and then, I plan on purchasing all the furnishings and other materials for the center, setting it all up, having a meeting with my mentors and teachers and other people who have been involved in the planning process to settle on a preliminary schedule, running a brief "gender in the classroom" workshop for my teachers and mentors, holding an open house for the girls and their parents, and coordinating a hopefully not too elaborate ceremony for opening day. Eek, that's a little overwhelming, writing it all down like that, but I think I'll be able to swing it. One thing at a time.

Smack in the middle of all that, we have WAIST: the West African Invitation Softball Tournament. More on that later, but I'll be traveling down to Dakar in mid-February for a week or so. Not the best timing, but it'll be a good break. And something to look forward to while I'm running around taking care of all this GMC stuff.

I'll especially be looking forward to WAIST because Zach is leaving the country now and we'll be out of touch until everyone meets up in Dakar. He's going over land to Ghana for an environmental conference (and monkeys, apparently) with some other volunteers. Should be an awesome trip, and I can't believe I have to wait a whole month before I hear anything about it!

Luckily, I have plenty of traveling to look forward to in the near future. I love that about Peace Corps. When else would I have had the chance to explore this part of the world? Who knows if I ever would have made it to West Africa otherwise (there's too much to see!), but now that I'm here, I'm glad I'm getting the chance to check it out. I'm such a travel junky. Anyway, we're planning on heading up to Morocco in late March/early April. Exact dates have yet to be settled on (sorry to those of you who are waiting to buy plane tickets, it's not my fault!), but we're meeting up with home friends there and I'm beyond excited about it.

So that's whats up with me at the moment. I'm getting internet hooked up at my GMC, so whenever I actually figure out how to do that I'll be in touch!

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