Am now all packed and ready to jet out of the Midwest. Organizing myself was a bit more hectic than preferred, but has panned out well in the end. I now head over to Philadelphia for a couple days of orientation and then jet off to Niger.
My duty while in the Peace Corps consists of working within the Community Health Education sector, addressing basic health concerns in rural Niger. For the first two months while in Niger the Peace Corps conducts training emphasizing the teaching of local language and culture. Once finishing those two months I will move into a small rural village consisting of no more than 2,500 people, where I will be living for the next two years. Other than that much is still unbeknownest to me.
While immersed abroad it is always fantastic to hear from you 'non-Nigerian residents,' so keep the letters flowing! My address whilst in Niger for the first two months (as it will change once training is finished) is:
Corps de la Paix
Here's a few tips to sending them:
1.Write “air mail” or “par avion” on letters and packages. They should take anywhere from two to six weeks to get to me.
2.Number letters so I’ll know if one goes astray.
3.Write the address in red ink; people are superstitious about it and will be less likely to open it or steal it.
4.Tape the corners of the packages so they will endure the trip. Also, putting tape or stickers on the inside of the flaps will make it easier to tell if someone tried to open it (and it may deter people from doing so in the first place).
5.Use padded envelopes whenever possible, as they are cheaper for both you and me. I may have to pay a tax on boxes, especially if it’s big or its contents are expensive. So don’t declare the items as expensive; keep it under $20.
6.When declaring the contents, keep it vague. Write “educational materials”, “personal hygiene items”, or “nutritional items” (for food), etc. If it doesn’t sound exciting, people will be less likely to open it. If you are sending me batteries, you have to “forget” that you packed them, as the U.S. won’t ship them overseas.
Thanks to all those who I saw for making it a memorable three weeks home after coming back from East Africa! Time to go catch a flight, next post I'll be scratching the sand from my eyes and being scorched from the pelting sun (well from what I hear at least).