Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Niger Peace Corps Trainee...

A day in the life of a Niger PC trainee starts with what we like to
call the Nigerian symphony - a splendid mix of the local call to
prayer and the not so local call to prayer blaring from the radio in
our neighbor's concession, (usually starting around 5am). Not to
mention the cry of the 'jaki' our donkey and the usually surprisingly
off-key 'zakara' or rooster, blend with a smattering of howling dogs
for the perfect cacophony of sound. Zero need for an alarm :)
 Enter the potentially graceful, but more than likely not so graceful
exit from the mosquito net before entering your hut to fish around in
semidarkness for culturally appropriate attire. Ladies, that means
covering of the knees and shoulders.
If you were feeling particularly unkempt you may have thought about
taking a bucket bath as well before heading down to the main road to
find breakfast.
Onto breakfast... One may opt for some 'farimasa' which is the
equivalent of fresh handmade donut holes. There is also 'masa' up for
grabs across the street from the farimasa woman which are mini
pancakes made with millet and a whole lot of oil, just down the way
you can find 'cicena' -fried bean flour. Another favorite of the PC
trainee is the egg sandwich - a bit more spendy but worth every cfa,
finish it off with a 'sulani' (liquid yogurt) and you have yourself
the best breakfast combination THIS trainee has yet to find.
If it's a CORE day you'll find many a trainee making their way up to
bisa dutsi (the top of the hill, i.e. The training site) and preparing
themselves for another rousing day of med sessions, tech sessions, and
language. The best part about CORE day - aside from hearing Tondi's
laugh and finding 'the energy ball' - brings us back to the basics,
FOoD and CoLD drink!!
If it's a nonCORE day one can find several trainees milling about the
main road chatting before heading off to our respective language
classes. Go team Hausa!! :)
At the end of the day one typically finds their way back to their host
family and may spend time attempting to chat in Hausa or Zarma before
Dinner, not much variety here (read: we've had the same thing almost
every night - white rice with a red sauce. If we're lucky, the sauce
will have sweet potato!
Then, the sun has gone down and the moon has come out, we retire to
the coziness of our mosquito net and usually fall asleep around 9 ish
after reading or studying (don't judge! We get tired!).

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