Thursday, November 5, 2009

Faces I've come to love

Our end-of-service conference is over, and now we're heading back for one last month in our villages. I thought now would be a good time to show you some of the American faces that I've come to love while living here. All of these folks came to Niger together in January 2008, and will be heading home next month. Impossible, but true.

With Krista, a fellow fistula translator who's hoping to extend her service in Kenya, and Jen, who built a giant garden and taught people how to golf. She also made the difficult 2 day trek/walk out to my village TWICE.

This is Laura, a fellow volunteer-trainer who cracks me up and kicks my butt with her "dance workouts". Laura built a well in her village and organized a camp for young girls.

The one and only John, my closest Peace Corps friend and neighbor. John made being here easy. His work included the creation of a grain/fertilizer bank, a goat project, and the maintenance of an enormous tree plantation. He also made me the world's sweetest birthday presents (have you heard of "Backpack Boyfriend"? Yeah, that's right, he made a boyfriend doll for me to carry around in my backpack.)

Kathleen and Justin- two kindred spirits who did some really amazing work up north. They started a farmer's co-op , created a school garden, did a goat project, and made waves in challenging traditional gender roles in Niger. There is nothing these two people can't do. And they're MARRIED! Watch out world.

Meet Alex, a fellow Oregonian who got more work done in compromised circumstances than any of the rest of us who had it easy. A sample of his work: gardens, maps, health care for a girl with polio, tree planting, and just generally being resilient and creative. We went to high school AND college together but didn't know it. Alex also made it out to visit and wowed us all with his already-advanced Hausa (he learned Zarma in training).

With Kathleen and Laura. Don't we look clean?

1 comment:

slim pickins said...

You all look beautiful, glowing. I am so inspired by the amazing work you ALL are doing...making the world so much better for so many people, including each other!