13 April, 2011
Hi all- Welcome to my Peace Corps Senegal Blog! My service has not yet commenced but I figured my story should start now. My thoughts, studies, and conversation are already monopolized by the subject of Peace Corps service and development work-and here is how it happened...
It has been a long journey to this point and the fun hasn't even started yet. After missing my first Peace Corps nomination (Sept 2009) because of complications with my medical clearance (it happens) I spent a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA. This how I started to learn how intense and amazing development work really is. I got first hand experience with starting programs and participating in the complex grantseeking/writing process. I also did my first real work with food and nutrition in a community based context by starting the Highbridge Community Vegetable Garden. This solidified my desire to work in food security and agriculture internationally. I applied for the International Agricultural and Rural development M.P.S. program through Cornell where I was accepted as a Masters International Student-meaning my final project paper will be based on my Peace Corps experience!
Half way through my second of two semesters here at Cornell (just a few weeks ago) I recieved my Invitation Packet. I was elated to finally have reached this step after over two years since my original interview for Peace Corps! I was also excited to find out that my assignment was in Senegal; although I truly had no preference for placement, a piece of my heart has always been in Africa. Adding on the course work at Cornell has been, and I'm sure will continue to be, an extremely valuable experience for me. I believe that I am literally a thousandfold more prepared to be an effective and content volunteer then if I hadn't studied soil science as well as the social and economic aspects of development work. My classmates and professors here will provide me with support in my work in Senegal that I could not have gotten other wise. I'm sure my time in Senegal will be well worth the wait, if not better for it!
Soo, that's a bit of the story of how I got to this point. I have been meaning to start a blog for some time now so that I can recall my attitudes throughout this process as well as share my story with those who come next. There was a fair amount of frustration up until this point but others who did this before me warned me and it wasn't so hard to handle. I hope to give the next one after me a bit of strength to stick it out as well....
and I haven't even gotten to the hard part yet! But I'm assuming it will also be the most fun and fulfilling part as well.
Well there's only a few weeks of classes left which means I'm ass deep in projects and papers I need to get to. Since I found out I will be serving in Senegal I have rushed to change the focus of my projects to be on the region.
More to come soon!