Laura Ballard

Volunteer: Laura Ballard

Bio:

I served in Niger as a Community and Youth Education volunteer.  My first year I lived in a small town of 12,000 people and worked mainly with middle school girls (income generating group, girls soccer team and tournaments, hand washing campaign, AIDS campaign).  My second year I transferred to the regional capitol, Zinder, and served as the PCVL and also continued to work as a CYE (English class, regional soccer tournament, all-volunteer conference).

  • Favorite project:  Zinder Girls Empowerment Camp 2010
  • Languages I learned in PC: French and Hausa
  • Places I travelled during PC: Benin, Togo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Mali.
  • Number of time I got amoebas/bacteria: 10
  • Strangest thing I ate in country: Popcorn sheep

I also served as a Peace Corps Response volunteer in China in 2011.  I taught English at a medical university in GuiZhou province.

2008 - 2010


Contributions from Laura Ballard

  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...

  1. China I've Never

    Teaching at a univeristy as part of my PCR service was both challenging and incredibly fun.  During my early morning classes, one of best ways to kick off class and wake up students was to play a game.  Here, during a fast-paced round of "I've Never", I somehow got caught in the middle.

  2. China I've Never

    Teaching at a univeristy as part of my PCR service was both challenging and incredibly fun.  During my early morning classes, one of best ways to kick off class and wake up students was to play a game.  Here, during a face-paced round of "I've Never", I somehow got caught in the middle.

  3. China Scrabble Buddy

    One of my favorite parts of serving as a PCRV in China has been the friendships I've been able to build.  Clare, a student from my university, and I would often go to a coffee shop and play BananaGrams together.  Needless to say, my expereince serving in PC China has been vastly different from my service in PC Niger.

  4. China Lou Shan Guan

    My students and I took this  jumping picture in front of Chairman Mao's famous quote at Lou Shan Guan, a historic place in China's communist history.

  5. Niger Snack Line

    The girls in this kindergarten class in Kantche, Niger line up to have kunnu (a millet based porridge) as a morning snack.

  6. 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.

  7. Niger Fishing in the Desert

    A few young boys used nets to catch the remaining fish in the seasonal lake before it dried up completely.

  8. Niger Plunder

    While walking 12k to a bush village for a naming ceremony, we came across a seasonal lake where a group of young boys were scouring the pond for fish.  This young boy was proud to show us his plunder.

  9. Niger Old Man

    I ran into this cheeky old man while visiting the relatives of my host family.  He refused to leave unless I took his picture.

  10. Niger Fishbowl

    These stares were a familiar sight as I wandered about Kantche, my village.  Luckily, these boys didn't insist on doing karate moves when I asked to take their picture.

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