The trainees gathered around a huge map of Senegal, painted on the concrete basketball court of the training center. Blindfolded, we were guided to stand on the sites we would be serving in for the next two years. On the count of three we removed our blindfolds and stared down at the locations, also looking around to see who was within arms reach.
I found myself standing in the Tambacounda region of Senegal. My village is called Koulari, 5km into the bush from the main road and town of Gouloumbou, very close to the Gambie river. While a lot of trainees are replacing volunteers who are leaving, I am going to a new site and will be the first American many of the people of Koulari interact with. I am very excited at the prospect of making a difference in this community of around 500 people. I visited for a few days to meet my future host family and tour the area. I will be living with the chief of the village, Mahamadou Goumane. They had a naming ceremony for me and after some arguing decided on Oomar Goumane as my new name.
Now I am back at the training center in Thies. We have one more month of training and tests before hopefully swearing in as Peace Corps Volunteers…
The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.