Work as Work Goes

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

                "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by  
                                going to that  place and making a case"- Ken Kesey

Another day, another dollar. Or in my case, another day, no dollars. As I am writing this, many of my fellow friends (and foes I am sure) are recovering from the various exploits of the Oregon Country Fair. As much a place in counterculture history as in my own, the fair marks the passing of another year, but lso a long tradition that was spearheaded by Kesey and his counterculture crew in the 1960's. Being in the Peace Corps used to be a part of that counterculture, and as it becomes more mainstream (and celebrates it's 50th year), it is apparent that we still  oppose most mainstream ideas of what a job really least enough so that we can ignore the societal constraints put on recent  college grads for 2+ years. No longer is the Peace Corps family full of hippies or draft dodgers or bleeding heart activists who need to disappear off the map for a few years... right? Ok, so most of us fall left-of center, but we have more than our political views in common, but a passion and tenacity that seems to be born into the very thread of the Millenial Generation. 
If Ken Kesey were here today (RIP), he might be appalled by the shambled state of politics, Conservative attacks on women's health, and budget cuts for our international aid programs, but he would be proud that my generation is willing to go, and lead not by prose, but by example. So, here I am in Senegal, making my case.

My blogging has been thin of late, mostly because I have felt that what I had been up to was neither interesting nor extraordinary....but I have come to realize that is just my altered lens. What we do everyday, is indeed, rather un-ordinary, just by virtue of being here. It is also just my job, and few people in the US would blog about their every day job, because after a while all seems commonplace.
So my job over the last few months in brief:

Health Hut Murals: A productive way to educate a large number of people with limited resources over a long time. 

Baby Weighings: Monthly little gems....still no pictures, and I terrify the kids; the moms get a chart and bit of wisdom on taking care of their little ones! No pics from my weighing's yet, since I typically don't have any help.

Malaria boot camp and Neem Lotion tournee: Rainy season is here, so that means a spike in Malaria cases. I am working with a large organization, JHU, and other vols on prevention tactics. We did a large tournee to teach people about making Neem Lotion, a cream made of local ingredients to ward off mosquito bites.
Doing an art demo and contest 

cooking the leaves 

Women dancing at the bed net demo for Boot Camp

West Africa Boot Camp participants

Moringa Propagation Tournee: 7 days and about 24 villages in Kaolack were versed on the awesome properties of this nutritional powerouse plant. For this first phase we dug beds and displayed various ag techniques to amend the soil. Phase 2 comes in September when we will be going back out to do nutrition lessons with porridge and dried powder!

In the middle of it all, showing women and kids how to add amendments

Double Digging

Teaching about proper height for leaf propagation 

So that's about it for now. I will keep you posted on any new activities and pics of the new wall being built at my health hut!


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