Yesterday I was so busy I didn’t really get a chance to post. We start each day with a general meeting at 8 am. Then we had our transition meeting with the people who will decide where we go. It was mildly interesting, but full, as always, of questions that are particular to a single person and thus less useful to everyone else. Anyway, after that my group went en ville to get medical done (physical passed, chest x-ray negative). I have submitted all my blood, urine and stool samples. I still have dental to do, but that is it for medical. Mix ups with buses and schedules led to us rushing back in a cab for my one-on-one with my placement person, which was disheartening. I think we all thought that they would be trying very hard to put us exactly where we want, but it seems like more of a shotgun approach. I am going to have to work hard to have the possibility of a post that I’d really like.
Last night we had a little ceremony just saying thanks to different people. Usually those things are kind of cheesy, but we were all on the verge of tears through much of it. It was well done.
Anyway, I hope today will be calmer, and it will be in the sense that I only have one or two meetings this morning and then will be hanging out en ville hopefully getting dental stuff done.
But in another sense today is the make or break day. Tomorrow is the last day for indicating whether or not you want to transfer, and by tonight the list of available sites should be finalized.
There are two sites in particular that I am interested in. One is working on ecotourism with a chimpanzee national park in Kassama Mali. Apparently the site is very remote and hard to get to and located on the top of a mountain. The other site is a municipal development site in Niger, in a smaller town that is located close to a large town (no names yet). In that case I would be working with the local government to teach management, proposal writing, and other organizational skills.
Niger has also been having some political issues of late, and there is a chance that Peace Corps will evacuate Niger as well, but it also has amazing Sahara desert lands and is home to the nomadic Tuereg (sp?) people.
So yeah, today is sort of make or break. I don’t think we will really receive offers till tomorrow or even Saturday, but it is the day that probably determines what those offers will be.