All Vol

So I just got done with the West African All Volunteer conference in Thies. It was two days of meetings and discussions on best practices. There were lectures from some visiting volunteers from Togo, Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia, Mali, and Cape Verde. I met new volunteers serving in Senegal as well as other volunteers in West Africa.

Sessions I went to:

PCVs Promoting Literacy
Moringa and Its Uses
Conducting a Regional NGO Workshop
Program Design and Grant Writing (it was either this or beekeeping, which I almost went to)
GIS Use to Enhance and Document Peace Corps Work

I learned a lot. It was interesting to see what other volunteers in country are doing. I’m looking forward to doing secondary projects at my site. There are a lot of cool health and environmental education projects. The potential to help and learn is endless, and I’m looking forward to it.

Before All Vol was the annual UAg Summit. My sector, urban agriculture, is the smallest in country with only 19 volunteers. I love that my sector is so small. I had met most of my fellow UAgs before, but a few I didn’t know. The 2-day summit was basically the 9 second-year volunteers talking about what has worked and what hasn’t. Us newbies just sat and listened. It was so interesting, and it made me feel better that pretty much all of the older vols said they were just as inexperienced as I am now. Gives me hope that I’ll have a beautiful demo garden one day.

On the second day we split up into teams and made a permagarden, which is a gardening technique utilized in PC Tanzania. The garden is supposed to naturally collect rainwater so your plants don’t flood. It was fun to learn about it from the other volunteers.

Basically, I’ve just been hanging out in Thies all week. Been busy going to sessions. My IST (in-service training) starts in a few days, which means I will have gardening sessions all day every day for 2 weeks. It should be fun.

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    • Lindsey
    • December 5th, 2010

    Awesome that you are learning new stuff, networking, meeting vols from other countries, etc. All sounds inspiring/empowering. Good luck with IST. Can’t wait to hear more about your work.

    • Allyson
    • December 6th, 2010

    GIS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • kristen H aka love of your life
    • December 8th, 2010

    Awesome! Have fun training 🙂

    • Sca-rah
    • December 8th, 2010

    There are lots of federal jobs dealing with agriculture out there right now so your gardening would be good experience when you come back. I was looking at them and wishing I had ag experience. Just saying…

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