I must admit that I was quite nervous about meeting my homologue from my site. I was told that when he arrived yesterday evening, he was immediately asking to meet me. The anticipation of our meeting was so stressful! All of my doubts, fears, and nerves were on overdrive untils after dinner, when we were all informally introduced to our homologues. My homologue's name is Bourama Diakite, but he told me that everyone in the village calls him "vieux" which means old in French. He is however by no means old as he is only 42. I thought that our meeting would be very awkward, but I was pleasantly suprised that it was exactly the opposite. I left our conversation extremely excited and totally at ease!!
After our initial greetings in Malinke, our conversation switched into French which made communicating a breeze. My homologue told me that my village has been trying to get a volunteer since 2008, and that they are so excited and anxious for me to arrive! He was so kind as well, assuring me that if I ever have any problems or worries that he will help me in any way possible. Hearing all of this banished all of my anxities and made me really excited to meet my village and begin working. Plus, today, the homologues were in session all day learning about the Needs Assessment Tools that I will be using to evaluate my community as tomorrow we are going on a field trip to practice these tools. We had a small meeting to establish which homologues were going to facilitate these activities, and my homologue wanted to lead all of them!! Hopefully, he is a good indication of the motivation and work ethic of my village. Since my village really wants a volunteer that means they want to make improvements and implement change and are willing to collaborate with me to do so!! Exciting!
Anyways, Bourama, who happens to be about a foot taller than me, is a teacher of the first grade. The premiere cycle, which is the 1st-6th grade, is located in my village. The seconde cycle, 7th-9th grade, is 7km away, and the Lycee (high school), 10th-12th grade, is located in Kita. My village has requested a volunteer to help facilitate the improvement and promotion of girls education and youth development, so I will most likely be working with the premiere and seconde cycle. However, Bourama also told me that there is a CSSCOM (a maternity clinic) in the village, so hopefully I can start some secondary projects there.
I leave for site on Tuesday, so I will find out more when I get there. But for now, I am super motivated and inspired. I can't wait for the next phase of this journey!