1. Niger Thank You, girls...

    These 3 girls lived next door to family I was living with during my Peace Corps training. They were nothing but smiles and positive energy the entire time - I kept this picture with me and would look at it during the hard days of my service - how can this one not make you smile? even when you're crying because you're 2,000 miles from home, can't understand the language, and wish beyond wishing that suffering did not exist for anyone in the world.

  2. Niger Color

    The ubiquitous colorful printed cloth that people wear throughout Africa.

  3. Niger Allah kawo ruwa

    Village men pray for rain. 

  4. Niger Gluttony

    Peace Corps Volunteers in town for some RandR compete in a mango eating contest. Our driver talked a good game but topped off at a meager 6 mangoes. The two ladies with backs to the camera tied for the win, each eating an astonishing 12 mangoes! 

  5. Niger Training

    In Niger, girls playing sports was unheard of, and they were normally never permitted to wear shorts. These girls are representing their middle school (in the background) in a regional soccer tournament organized by PCVs. Although there were many challenges, the girls learned a lot, loved playing, and helped advance the role of women in their culture. 

  6. Niger Not my sector

    After being installed in the tiny village of Ichirnawa at the start of my service, my days consisted of walking around, greeting people in Hausa, getting to know my neighbors, and adjusting to daily life. One place I liked to sit in the morning was at the 2-room health clinic, where the nurse spoke French and there was always a pot of tea brewing. One day within my two weeks in the village I was hanging around at the health clinic as usual with my friend the nurse. He disappeared inside, and ...

  7. Malawi Tiwonge

    Tiwonge used to wash my floors and clothes and sometimes water my garden before it disappeared into shriveled brownness. For these tasks I paid for her school fees so that she could attend secondary school. I like Tiwonge, she’s feisty and smart though sometimes careless and uncaring but she pulls it off with also being sort of sassy. Her sassiness makes her carelessness seem purposeful as if she does it perhaps to back up being sassy or maybe to protect herself. Either way Tiwonge and I got...

  8. Malawi kawaza

    Outside my door a collection of children harshly rap at a mango tree with a long pole. The tree whackers have to shield their heads as they go in to retrieve the green rounds out of the dust. I love how things so gently collide around my house. Mango trees to me are exotic, a tree that grows far away from New England apple trees that don’t take up near the amount of sky and air space that the wide mango limbs do. But to see the exotic I have to duck my head, peeking under my laundry which is ...

  9. Lesotho Colors of Lesotho

    In a remote village in the beautiful mountain kingdom, a local Mosotho boy shyly smiles upward towards a group of herd-boys passing through the area on their donkeys.

  10. Kenya Merry Christmas!

    About a week after my swearing-in ceremony, fellow PCV Susan Gibson and I traveled to my site.  It was nearing Christmas, but, being on the equator, it was very hot.   We dumped all of my belongings in the house, took stock of what was there from the PCV I replaced, then went to the village to get essentials.  We began soaking beans upon our return and began to get the house in order. We started up the charcoal jiko and put the beans on to cook, outside, of course, as it was so nice (except f...

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.