1. Niger Homemade Holidays

    (Taken from my blog: http://laballard.wordpress.com/2008/11/25/homemade-holidays/) This past weekend our region of volunteers celebrated Thanksgiving together.  It was a potluck style dinner that was fashioned from random findings in the city or from treasures shipped from home.  There was even stuffing, mashed potatoes, pie, deviled eggs, cookies, salad, turkey, cheese ball, gravy, and rolls to be had.  The dilemma comes when everything takes just a little longer than it normally would to pr...

  2. Niger Troublemaker

    I spent a few days at the village kindergarten and, with the permission of the teacher, decided to take picutres of the kids to hang around the classroom.  This little stinker would be my next door neighbor who, with the help of his younger twin brothers, has been known to thow things into my concession.

  3. Niger Bush Taxi Quiz

    Bush taxis are my most frequent mode of transportation here in Niger. Often times family and friends think I am exagerating about the number of people who ride inside one vehicle. This is video proof that I am not lying. There really is ALWAYS room for one more :)

  4. Morocco This Too Shall Pass

    Traveling the treacherous mountain roads of Morocco by grand taxi.

  5. Guinea Insects in Africa

    I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea, West Africa.  In my current role as stay-at-home mom/housewife (I like to refer to myself as "domestic goddess"), when I tell people I was a PCV in West Africa, they immediately imagine me in some ideal role of service in the middle of the bush and start to ask questions.  And although my stories about my daily life are entertaining and completely fascinating to anyone who has never left the continental United States, this one instance is by ...

  6. Morocco Camp is Camp the World Around

    One of the best experiences I had during my Small Business Development service was shortly after I was assigned to a site near Marrakech.  The Wonderful Unexpected. A friend in Youth Development co-chaired the spring break English immersion camp near the Algerian border, and asked if I would help.  I got permission from my manager and traveled for two long days and night to get there.  We taught English every morning and had "club" in the afternoons.  Since my Darija (Moroccan Arabi...

  7. India A Different Way to Achieve Immortality

    I opened the paper some months ago and came across a funny article about ear hair that transported me back to my Peace Corps days in village India, over half a lifetime ago. The article was by local columnist David Shapiro, who must be about my age – give or take a few summers – because he wrote, quite entertainingly, about a battery-powered ear- and nose-hair trimmer, a gift idea for males, like me, who have started on their second half-century. “Can you imagine if teen-agers had...

  8. Guatemala Horse Races

    Residents of the town of Todos Santos Cuchumatan engage in a horse race every year. The only stipulation is that the contestants must be (very) drunk, per a tradition based on a legend that the first man brave enough to ride a horse in Guatemala was from this town and was drunk when he did it, thus disproving the Spaniards' warnings that if a Guatemalan tried to ride a horse, they would be met with instant death.

  9. Philippines Close of Service

    Close of service in Baguo, Philippines for group 250.

  10. Fiji Toothbrush Drill

    My host family sister Adi had to improvise in order to reach the water faucet during her morning brush...

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