Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Today was a very important day for all of us back at the training center. They announced our permanent site assignments -- aka home for the next two years!! My placement is Dar el Barka. Let me tell you what I've learned about it:
Population: 7,000 people (although population counts here are extremely flexible)
Location: On the Senegal River, 60 km west of Boghé (the departmental capital in the south Brakna region). It's right off a brand new paved road, which is a big deal because it makes the town much more accessible than previously.
Language: Pulaar and French
Ethnic Groups: Pulaar and Black Moors
Assignment: I will be teaching English at a middle school, which they are trying to turn into a boarding school to accommodate students that live up to 40 km away in less accessible villages. The school currently has 202 students (78 female) in four grade levels.
Annnnd that's about all I know right now. The UN and World Vision have active projects there, so that's encouraging. I leave tomorrow to go visit this new place for a week, so I'll let you know all about Dar el Barka when I return, of course!
I was surprisingly wistful to leave my village PK7 on Saturday. I will be gone for 12 days, and my family was very sad to see me go. It really is home right now.
Bonus reading material: here's a good article talking about the refugee repatriation issue in the south of Mauritania. We have several of these UN tents on the fringes of PK7.
Posted by JAC at 1:47 AM