Thursday, October 8, 2009

evacuated to Bamako, Mali

After three months in Guinea and one week at my site in Timbo, I have been evacuated, along with all other Guinea volunteers, to Mali.

If you have been following the news in Guinea, you'll know what happened on September 28th in Conakry. I won't go into detail... it was a very sad day. I was in Labe, my regional capital on that day, trying to follow the news. Two days later, I was installed in Timbo, my village, where I finally unpacked after three months of living out of my suitcase in Forecariah. The next day, I trekked up a mountain to call Peace Corps and check in because we were on "standfast." I was told we were being evacuated to Mali, and to pack up an emergency bag, label my stuff, lock my house, and tell my village that I was only going for a conference. (I think they saw through this excuse, as they have had volunteers evacuated in the strikes of 2007.)

Yesterday, a Peace Corps bus picked me up in the morning and we drove for 15 hours to Bamako, where we were warmly greeted by the Peace Corps Mali people. We are staying in small huts at their training site, which is very nice (electricity! internet! showers! ceiling fans!) and is sort of set up like a summer camp.
I don't know how long we'll be here or what the next move is. I don't know whether it will be possible to return and carry out my service in Guinea. I think that we will learn about our alternatives in the next few days. Who knows? Maybe I'll stay in Mali to volunteer here! Or maybe I will go back to the US to wait on something in another region. (?)
When I know more, I'll write more.

For now, just know that I'm safe. Just disoriented, and sorry to leave my village.

I got a new phone number that I emailed to a bunch of you. Call me. Please!
If you don't have the number, ask Joy.

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