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

mercredi, août 09, 2006

Site Visit

Currently, I am in Conakry which is the capital of Guinea. I apologize to many of you for not keeping in touch but Forecariah does not have access to internet so I have been out of touch for the last month. It looks like once training is over at the end of September I will have access about once a month. I have been doing some writing and posted several other times below. Site visit…

I was a little apprehensive about going to Wonkifong but the trip was amazing. Wonkifong is off the main road and is in a quiet, peaceful setting. The village has been there for a long time and looks to be well taken care of. When Devon (the PC volunteer that took me to site) and I got to Wonkifong, we kind of looked at each other and said “No what?” There was no welcoming committee waiting for us and the rain was starting to come on down. The taxi driver pointed us in the direction of the sous-prefet (person who runs the show) and a small child led the way. We got there to find the sous-prefet on his porch with his family. He welcomed us in and called the president and other important members of the village. Then he pointed to a nice house behind his and said that it would be mine.

Devon and I were then given a tour guide and a walk through the village to meet others such as the imam (religious leader) and some village elders. The walk to the school that I will be teaching in is about 15 minutes and ends by crossing a river above a small rapid. The school is lined with mango trees and consists of two small buildings. Overall, the village is beautiful.

I then went with Devon to visit her village before coming to Conakry. Though apprehensive about Wonkifong, I am now excited about the location (beautiful mountains in the distance and potential access along a river to the ocean) and look forward to the end of stage. I have 3 weeks of “practice school” coming up where I will teach math to 60 or so Guinean students. Sounds like fun…

Take care and I hope to get some photographs up soon. Once again, any mail, etc is greatly appreciated. My address is to the right of the screen.