Always in the deep woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is an ancient fear of the unknown and is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into. What you are doing is exploring. -- Wendell Berry

The TRIP: GUINEA - wonkifong --> MALI - bamako, djenne, douentza, Dogon Country --> Burkina Faso - ouagadougou, bobo-dioulasso, bala, ouagadougou --> GHANA - tamale, mole national park, tamale, yeji, volta lake ferry, akosombo, accra, green turtle lodge, elmina, cape coast, accra, hohoe and wli falls --> TOGO - kpalime, atakpame, lome --> BENIN - cotonu (transport stop) --> NIGER - niamey, tahoua, agadez, camel trek in aiir mtns, niamey --> BENIN (abomey, grand popo, ouidah, ganvie, cotonou) --> CAMEROON (douala, buea, top of Mt Cameroon, limbe, sangelima, yaounde, kribi, douala) --> MAURITANIA (nouakchott, atar, chinguetti, camels into the sahara, terjit, choume, ride the coal train, nouadhibou) --> MOROCCO (western sahara, dakhla, agadir, essaouira, marrakesh, imlil, summit of jebel toubkal, fes, chefchaouen) --> cross the Strait of Gibraltar --> Malaga, Spain --> fly to Geneva, Switzerland --> Les Grangettes, France
Click for a map. Updated April 30, 2007

lundi, juin 12, 2006

Changing Continents (after diapers)

Have I mentioned before how wonderful the school community that I am in is? The hardest part of deciding to enter the Peace Corps was the knowledge that I would have to leave the amazing staff, students and others at Sunnyside. In a complete surprise, today’s morning meeting was a good-bye for me. Sarah, John and Jan had kind words for me, students read a “Remember Me” poem that they had written about me and several students gave anecdotes from the last three years. It’s fascinating to hear stories from the other side of the class room.

Sandwiched among many nice statements was my “rite of passage.” Several months ago the staff was shocked to hear that I had never changed a baby's diaper. Honestly, it has never been one of the items on my must-do list, though ranked on the try-to-avoid list. When Midwifery Day came and past without me seeing a baby’s bottom, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I had avoided it! Today as Jan began talking she mentioned the words rite of passage and I immediately looked into the back of the auditorium to see a coworker’s newborn. The 240 students in the room probably didn’t yet know that I would soon be a source of entertainment for them but I was already sweating it. Finally, with an auditorium full of people, I managed to change little Noah’s diaper. I guess that I’m now prepared for anything!