12 July 2008

Bad news, good news

Ok, bad news (for me, at least) first:

My nearest stagiare neighbor decided to separate very soon after I posted that last entry. We are sorry to see you go, Liz! I don't think there's a security issue with mentioning her name at this point. So now my nearest stagiare neighbor is in the neighborhood of 80km away. I probably won't be biking that. But rumour has it I can bike about 30k of that and then pick up transport. Actually, rumor has it that I could theoretically take transport that first 30k as well, but I've received conflicting reports so I'm not holding my breath.

Good news:
The same day I found out that Liz had left (actually, as it happens, within minutes) I also found out that I have one of the smallest SE sites in the country! This is exactly what I requested. I mentioned in the last post that my site was not the one I was expecting. What I didn't mention is that I was bummed about that because I knew that one was very small. But it turns out this one is too! In fact, there's an ongoing debate about whether the site I expected, the site I GOT, or a third site is the smallest SE post in the country. Yea! So I am now crazy excited about the place - and nervous about how to get there! We're all going to our sites next week to visit. My schedule is to leave on Thursday, spend the night at a PCV's house in the nearest city (35km away), then Friday go to site - and I may be biking that 35 km. 'Cause I'm hardcore like that. Actually, I'm terrified at having to bike that distance, but I need to get used to it, because as I said, rumors of transport from my town are conflicting. Anyway, Sat. I'll return to my "neighbor"'s place, then Sunday bush taxi / bus back to Ouahigouya.

I've also warmed to the idea of teaching math. I was REALLY bummed about that at first, but frankly considering my limited language skill, it's the better choice. Some concepts in chemistry/physics are very difficult to explain in a second language. Not so much of a problem for teaching math, especially at the middle-school level.

UPDATE A FEW MINUTES LATER: We had language tests today. I'll know where I place on Monday. Smart money is on Intermediate-Low, I think. But there is an outside chance I did well enough for I-Mid, and that's enough to begin training in Mooré (though not enough to swear in, I need I-High by then). Speaking of Mooré, we had another class in that, also in French, since we're visiting our sites next week. But it was on mostly the same stuff, and I've been practicing the greetings with everyone in my host family and everyone at the training facility, so it wasn't as painful as the first time around.


Margaret said...

Does "separate" mean "go home and quit the PC"? That's kind of how it reads here. I'm glad that you are excited about your site as well as your subject! :> These are important elements of happiness for the next two or so years. :P

If transport is iffy, though, I wonder about internet, so we may not hear from you very often. Keep in mind that you have many, many friends stateside who miss you and are jealous, uh, I mean excited for you! :>

Carson Chittom said...

I assume "swear in" in this context means to take some sort of oath, not to utter vulgarities.

Anonymous said...

I assume the security issue that required 2 volunteers per site has been waived?

eileen said...

Back-pack is on its way! I do hope you have received other snail mail by now(from other folks.)Also hope you are feeling the prayers and good wishes surrounding you.
Love, da momma

Sharon said...

Ok, so seriously. Are you going to keep making me look at other peoples pages to see if they have pictures of you? Post some dang pictures before I come over there and beat you. Don't forget I am bigger than you. Paige says she loves and misses you but you know I don't. Sounds like things are going great. Hope it stays that way. I really do miss you little brother. Can't wait to read the next post. TTYL

solotoro said...

M: Yes, that's what it means, sorry I wasn't clear; it's easy to get caught up in the jargon.

C: We actually use the State Department's oath, so I will be swearing to protect and defend the Constitution. Weird, huh? Anyway, the swearing-in ceremony is when we cease to be trainees and become official "volunteers".

d: I've not heard of such a requirement, so you can probably assume it has been waived for a while, since 95% of the sites in this cycle are replacements, and many of them do not share villages. If it helps your peace of mind, the trend in BF is toward clustering rather than away. If it weren't for ET's, I would have 5 neighbors within a two-hour bike ride rather than only three.

E (M!): Thank you!! Nope, no snail mail for me in the last few loads.

S: Less talk, more action. Get your butt over here and bring it! By the time you get here, I'll be super fit from all the biking.