Boss, pictured above and below, is the Peace Corps house dog. He keeps us company and protects the house. He also makes lovely photographs. Kato is new to the house and keeps Boss company, or makes him jealous, just depends.

The next few are Peace Corps Volunteer village pets. Ridiculously pampered with kapenta, nshima and at times some salatie . . . The kitten in the box was being transported, so no need to worry about that kittens situation.

El Jardin

We’re beginning hot season, a joke compared with Arizona and Sudan, and I’m still sleeping with a wool blanket at night. I’ve still been working with my garden and every day it is looking better and better but the health of the garden is in relation to the amount of water I’ve been having to draw. Currently I’m drawing 80 to 100 liters of day for myself and the garden. The majority is for the garden, since to shower, what I drink and to clean the dishes in one day is less than 10 liters. It is a draw of 50 liters a time, twice a day. I’ve been using the bicycle and strapping a container to the back and walking it. Sometimes I carry it on my head (it just really is easier) but to the Amamas amusement I’ve dropped it twice and once on my thigh. Regardless it is a lot of work just to water much less composting, aerating, etc. But it provides me with a tangible results of my work.

I know when I return to America I’ll be gardening since I’ll have a hose . . . it will just make it so much easier.

I’ve been growing a row of lettuce, which recently began to go to seed, a row of cabbage and kale for the leafy greens. The canteloupe and cucumbers, pictured first, are developing really well. For seasonings I have cilantro and basil, one small rosemary but the rosemary and parsley never seemed to get very far. There are a few carrots and onions, tomatoes and scattered pumpkins. I transplanted some small celery and green peppers but they’re struggling. A lot of what I’m doing is with advice and guidance from my neighbors and other volunteers so in some cases it’s a good way to do something, sometimes it’s an ineffective way.

I’m also working on building a chicken house for Heather, pictured below, and her one chick (remaining out of 7 hatched and 14 laid) Caeser. Vanessa is sitting on six eggs . . . trying to finish the house and outdoor area for the chickens so I can keep the new chicks there when they hatch.

Second Site Visit

During second site visit we stayed with Maria, a volunteer in Eastern Province. It falls between the first two weeks you are in country and gives you an opportunity to see what site is like. I went with Richard, April, Sarah and Musi. Sarah unfortunately left early, but April is going to be placed within my province.

We were able to visit Maria’s school and the classroom that she works in. The photo above is their meeting area and the one below of the classroom of the teacher she primarily works with.

We spent time collecting water, starting a brazier, just getting a feel for village life. Maria’s site was wonderful and her community was really interested in helping teach us. They showed us how to kill a chicken and how to prepare it, which was a first.

Sunset over the fields in Jakobo Village in Eastern Province.

It’s funny because if you asked me if I thought that I would make it three months in and be ready to settle in my village I would have said no, if only because I miss my family and I miss Sudan more than I ever would have thought. After three months I’m really starting to enjoy my new home, my new language (which is slowly and surely replacing Arabic) and I hope it just continues down this road.