1. Burkina Faso Of Drumming and Lightning in the Faso

    It wasn’t the drumming that woke me.  This was, after all, “funeral season” in Burkina Faso.  A period well after the harvest that this west African country of mostly subsistence farmers has the time and money to mourn the death – and celebrate the life – of those who passed away in the last year with all night drumming and dancing sessions.  Having lived in this village in southeast Burkina as a Peace Corps volunteer for the past 20 months, I was used to going to bed to the rhythm of the dru...

  2. Nepal Baglung Pani Miss

    A word of advice: avoid moving to a village where a volunteer preceded you. When I moved to Baglung Pani, Andy Walker was my own personal Freddy Krueger, popping into every conversation, and shredding my every deed. At each “good morning,” people would point to the hostel next to the school and tell me, “Andy Walker built that. What are you going to build?” At noon, the woman who gave me tea would drill me with questions in rapid Nepalese and then announce, “You don’t speak as wel...

  3. Niger A Day in the Life

    (a description of a day in the life of a niger peace corps trainee, from my blog: www.xanga.com/astronomigirl)   “There is one way to understand another culture: Live it.  Move into it, ask to be tolerated as a guest, learn the language.  At some point, understanding may come.  It will always be wordless. The moment you grasp what is foreign, you will lose the urge to explain it.”   The call to prayer sounds every morning at sunrise, wailing “Allaaaaaahu Akbar!” as the men make their way to ...

  4. Niger Hard to Explain

    one of the hardest parts of the readjustment process has been trying to summarize my experience. people keep asking me for the highlights and the low points, the best and the worst - but how can you summarize 27 months of living abroad with the peace corps?  this video is my attempt to capture one of the most challenging and wonderful experiences i've ever known, and an homage to a country and people i'll never forget...   music: "hard to explain" by The Strokes

  5. Niger Mother and child

    Abdul Samad discovers his mother's hijab.

  6. Tanzania Machine Chickens

    I remember the incubator miracle like it was yesterday.  I was an upper primary school teacher in Monduli, Tanzania in 1966.  Among the projects that I was involved in was the development of a flock of chickens both for eggs and for meat.  The project started with 100 eggs from the area agricultural college and a kerosene incubator provided by Peace Corps. A small room was found for the incubator and the project got underway. As the project progressed, I became aware of not only interest...

  7. St. Lucia Girl Guides

    In December 2009, the 24 members of the Girl Guide company I formed at my village primary school became official "Guides" and did their promise ceremony with officers from the St Lucia Girl Guides Association. 

  8. St. Lucia World AIDS Day 2009

    I was invited to give a talk on HIV/AIDS at my village primary school as part of World AIDS Day 2009. This is a picture of all the Grade 3 and 4 students at my session. 

  9. Peru Curious about the new machine

    This photo exemplifies the differences between the traditional cultures that live off the land and the culture of the sky. The former usually saw airplanes only in the sky; seeing one up close and personal was mystifying.

  10. Moldova Gender Roles

    The Romanian language is split into genders, just like French or Spanish. For example, masă, or table, is feminine while scaun, or chair, is masculine. I introduce myself as a profesoară, not a profesor, because I am a woman. This makes teaching gender roles to my 5th-7th grades this week difficult, as the very words I speak have an assigned gender. Usually, the masculine and feminine versions of a word have the same meaning. I may be an americancă and you may be an american, but we are ...

Countdown to Weekly Contest Deadline!

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