23 January 2009

No news is good news

Nothing much to report. No problems at site. Decided to make a day trip to Boulsa to check mail and the like. A day trip...as in 70 km round trip by bike in one day. Am I crazy? Nope, I'm PRACTICING.

I've decided that this spring I'm going to do a Tour du Sahel. Dori to Ouahigouya - or possibly the other direction, it's too soon to tell. In total, a distance of 300 km, give or take (more if we do a side tour to visit one volunteer out of the way). But for the most part, there are volunteer sites about every 50km, so the individual days won't be awful, though the heat will be brutal. But there is one stretch of 100km with no one's house to stay at between. Camping is a possibility, but so is making the whole stretch in one day. So it would be nice to know that I can do it without dying. Of course, conditions are MUCH easier right now - it's so cold I was biking until 10 o'clock and I barely broke a sweat.

I may actually tack on another 150km by biking from my site to Dori as well, if we end up going that direction. The reason for that is that in late my we have a mask festival chez moi, and the two volunteers who have expressed an interest in biking the Sahel with me have also expressed an interest in attending said festival. And I'll have to be in Ouahigouya in early June anyway for training, if I get a spot working the next stage. Unfortunately, while I should know whether I've been accepted for that sometime in March or April, the way holidays work here I won't know the date of the mask festival until just a couple weeks before it happens. We'll see.

Oh, I DO have news, it's just not site-related. I have been accepted on the Food Security Committee, and my job is to coordinate tree-planting projects, both to fight desertification and to improve crop yields. I'm very excited by this job! I will probably also work pretty heavily on preparing educational materials in Mooré, once my language is up to snuff. There's a nice synergy going on between my interests and my responsibilities right now.

And now lunch. I need to eat a lot. I do still have 35km to bike today!

Coming soon: Have you applied to the Peace Corps? Are you coming to West Africa? I actually don't know whether or not anyone fitting that description reads this blog, but my next planned post may be interesting to friends and family as well. I'm going to make a list of what I've brought or had sent that has been really useful, and what was a complete waste of luggage space. Stay tuned!


Molly said...

I have applied to the Peace Corps and I am coming to West Africa...Burkina to be exact! It's a little over four months away and I'm going stir crazy. Enjoy your bike adventures, and I'll catch you later...!

eileen said...

Hey! How about that;someone new to your blog. Hope ya'll meet up. We were hoping for detail about your Boulsa bundle of mail, but I guess you're waiting for us to call. Really hope there was a lot to read.
Love you bunches & bundles !