I found out my site! I’m headed to the Nafadji village in the southeastern part of Kedougou for the next 2 years. The population is 850, and I’ll be living in my own grass roof hut on the village chief’s compound. He’ll be my new host dad! I’m in a hilly area, and my nearest neighbor is a 20k bike ride away. One of the current volunteers who lives in my region told me that my main safety concern while running outside the village is to watch out for lions and baboons. Should make for some interesting runs!
The site placement reveal is a huge event during training. The anticipation started as soon as we got to the training center a month ago, and many of us had guesses and bets on who was probably going to end up where. The language we were assigned as well as sporadic clues from staff and current volunteers gave us some idea, but no one knew for sure where they were going. Last Thursday, we were all blindfolded and led onto the massive map of Senegal on the basketball court at the training center. We were all placed on the map where our new sites would be, and once we removed the blindfolds we were standing next to our new site neighbors. It was a fun way to reveal where we’ll all be for the next couple years.
My site is remote, but I’m very happy with it. The other volunteers in my region seem like a fun group, and my area of the country has a lot of need for a volunteer. The current volunteer in my village is moving to a larger site 30k away, and she told me I have the opportunity to start from scratch in my village. I’m excited to get started!
I leave on Tuesday for my Volunteer Visit, where I’ll be staying with a current volunteer in my region for 5 days. I’ll be able to visit my site and meet some important people in the village including my host family and local health counterpart.
It feels great to know where I’ll be working. I can’t wait to swear in on May 13th and become an official volunteer! It’ll be nice to settle into my hut and not be living out of a suitcase. I’m excited to meet my village!