Kushe-o friends and foes!
I have found myself in Freetown again a little sooner than I had anticipated. I had to get another X-ray on my wrist today. It is officially broken, womp womp.
Since I wrote, 45 new volunteers have arrived. YAY WELCOME!! I spent a week and half with them helping with training. The first couple of days were spent doing orientation at the National Stadium. I even got to weasel my way in to meet the president, His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. After the visit to the president, the Ministry of Education hosted a dinner for the new volunteers and that night ended up being really fun – full of good food and dancing! We then travelled to Bo where they are going to have their Pre-Service Training. As we all were, Salone 3 was warmly welcomed by their host families. The newbee’s were eager to explore the city and try out their Krio.
It was great to be a part of their training. As I answered their never-ending questions about the Peace Corps and Sierra Leone and told them about my experiences, it was an truly affirmation of why I’m here. I was invigorated when I was surrounded by these fresh, new perspectives - they were eager to learn everything possible about this wonderful country. I kept reassuring them that they will learn so much in their own time and they didn’t need to know everything in the first couple of days, but hey, I was the same way! As I look back on my last year here, I realize that I actually have been accomplishing something. Although the something might be small and difficult to put into words sometimes, I realized as I was talking to the new volunteers how much knowledge I’ve gained about the world and myself. Now if I can keep this positive attitude up for the year, I’ll be golden!
After Bo, I headed back to Madina to finish up the third and final term. My school’s exams ended on Wednesday and I speedily graded my students’ final exams and turned in their final grades before I came to Freetown. On my final exams, for bonus I had the students draw a picture of me. Here is a picture from one of my best students in JSS 2. I think it’s a picture of me teaching at least that’s what I’ve gathered by the drawn blackboard (with actual notes from one of my classes on balancing chemical equations, boo ya!) and the labeled chalk:
It’s been a relaxing and productive weekend in the capital. I officially turned in two grant proposals that I’ve been working on for the last couple of months. The one is for a national girls conference that a bunch of my friends and I are planning for December. The other is a project to refurbish my school’s library. The second one I need donations from people back home. When the proposal is approved, I’ll post more details about the project if you’re interested in helping out my school!
I’m headed back to Madina tomorrow morning. Hopefully my peeps haven’t forgotten about me since I’ve had to travel so much lately. Then in two weeks I am headed back to Bo for a 4th of July cultural celebration that the Peace Corps is planning. Hopefully all injuries will be avoided for this next Bo adventure (fingers crossed!). As far as the rest of the summer break, I’m going to try to take advantage of the free time and visit some of my friends around the country and explore some other parts of Sierra Leone. There is still sooo much to see.
I hope you all are doing splendidly where ever you find yourself as you read this.
All my love and hey.. even a little more than that. <3
Today I’m going to leave with a quote that my dear friend Dado sent me. I think I mentioned her before – she’s just full of wisdom, this gal!