Monday, January 19, 2009

It's official with the Peace Corps -- Africa, here I come (again)!

What seems like forever is now finally here. Last Saturday, I received my invitation in the mail, informing me of my placement in the French-speaking country of Burkina Faso in West Africa! On Thursday, after reading most of what the Peace Corps sent me (a lot of information!), I called to finally accept and now more than ever, the reality of living in another country for two years and three months is actually sinking in.

Burkina Faso.

Here are some of the basic details:

  • Country of Service: Burkina Faso

  • Program Title: Girls Education and Empowerment

  • Job Title: Community Education and Development Outreach Agent
    [the following dates are tentative and not set in stone as of yet...]
  • Orientation Date: June 8th 2009 (probably in Philadelphia)

  • Pre-Service Training: June 10th to August 29th 2009 in Ouahigouya, Burkina Faso

  • Dates of Service: August 29th 2009 to August 28th 2011

Why 'Girls Education and Empowerment'? Apparently, boys outnumber girls in school (2 to 1). What more, Burkina Faso ranks second lowest on the Human Development Index and is considered one of the most illiterate countries in the world. On top of that, Burkinabé society fosters this mentality that boys are to attend school while girls are to stay at home -- something that, especially now, needs to be shattered!

From what I know so far, I'll be working with villages, community leaders, parents, female and male students, and teachers to understand the importance of education and gender equity. From starting after-school programs for girls to working with parents associations to creating life-skills and health training sessions (and much more), I definitely have my work cut out for me -- but I'm super excited for this!

And what's better...with Barack Obama as our new President, Americans in foreign countries will once again be a welcomed presence. Holla!

In Africa, Summer 2007. Bungee jumping at Victoria Falls, Zambia.

Let's make it happen, baby!

P.S.: Plans for a bomb-ass pre-departure weekend in the Bay filled with food, DRINKS (!!), and good times + airport farewell are in the works. Even though the dates are set up, it's not completely in stone. I won't know the actual departure date (which will probably move only a couple days before or after the said date) until early May. So yeah. =)

P.P.S.: I've decided to keep this blog for my travels abroad in Burkina Faso. I was going to create a new one, but I might as well stick to one to make it less confusing. Holla!