Tomorrow I head up North. The northern part of Senegal is very different from the south. The north is very much cut off from the rest of the country by a huge desert where no one lives. The south is a tropical paradise with waterfalls and mango trees. The north is very conservatively Muslim where, as a woman, I will have to cover my head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes. In the south, they dance wearing banana leaves. In the north, there are no trees, no plants, and not many people either. Which is why I am going there! (For the plants and trees reason) If anyone has read or researched much about Greening the Desert, that’s basically what I’m going to be working on. Planting trees, reversing desertification, using the Senegal River floodplain for any possible crop propagation, and creating FOOD SECURITY in an area devoid of most anything that grows. No one said Peace Corps was easy, but I definitely picked the harshest place in this country by far. Guess I am one for extremes.
Tomorrow I go to visit the volunteers in the area and to see where I’ll be for the next two years. This visit was enough to make someone ET (early termination) last year, haha. This place is not for everyone. I am not everyone. I’m excited to see what I’ve gotten myself into!! And to practice my Pulaar! And to wear my new head scarves! And to see more of this amazing country.