In The Peace Corps Now!!! by and Ivory Coast PCV

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By Admin1 (admin) on Monday, July 02, 2001 - 1:26 pm: Edit Post

In The Peace Corps Now!!! by and Ivory Coast PCV

In The Peace Corps Now!!! by and Ivory Coast PCV

In The Peace Corps Now!!! by and Ivory Coast PCV

In The Peace Corps Now!!!

For my final project in French, I decided to join the Peace Corps. The first step was filling out an application. Then, I decided to volunteer in Cote d'Ivoire, Africa starting in June. While there, I will be working with local officials in small cities to plan for and provide adequate public services for lower income people, improve water conditions, proper sanitation, and increase the understanding of the impact of clean water and hygiene on good health. I will also be teaming up with nurses and local leaders to develop health education in support of child survival, train new nurses, midwives, health assistants and supervisors. Lastly, I will be assisting in the prevention of spreading HIV/AIDS by education.

Did You Know…

Cote d'Ivoire is a country in north west Africa bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It's neighboring countries include Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Ghana. The country consists of a coastal strip in the south, dense forests in the interior, and savannas in the north. Cote d'Ivoire's climate is tropical along the coast and semiarid in the far north. Want to see a map?

The official name for Cote d'Ivoire is the Republique de la Cote d'Ivoire

The flag is red, white, and green.

The capital and Cote d'Ivoire's largest city is Abidjan.

The major languages are French and African languages, especially Diaula.

The total life expectancy is 46.05 years. For males it is less, 44.48; where as for females it is higher at 47.67 years.

The GNP is $24.2 billion and $1,680 per capita.

The President is Henri Konan Bedie and the Prime Minister is Daniel Kablan Duncan. Both have been in office since 1993.

Their monetary unit is the franc CFA.

The religions of Cote d'Ivoire include Islam (23%), Christian (17%) and indigenous (60%).

The literacy rate is 54%.

Their only national holiday is National Day, which is on August 7th. This day celebrates their independence from France, which took place on August the 7th, 1960.

A Little History for You

The precolonial Côte d'Ivoire was dominated by native kingdoms. Beginning in the 16th century, the Portuguese and other Europeans engaged in a flourishing trade in slaves and ivory along the coast. The French began systematic conquest in 1870, proclaiming a protectorate in 1893. However, strong tribal resistance delayed occupation of the interior, and although Côte d'Ivoire was nominally incorporated into French west Africa in 1904, effective French control was not established until after World War I. In 1946 a mounting desire for independence led Félix Houphouët-Boigny to form an all-African political party. Côte d'Ivoire voted for autonomy within the French community in 1958 but in 1960 withdrew and declared itself independent. A one-party state until 1990, Côte d'Ivoire was headed after independence by Houphouët-Boigny. He died in office in 1993 and was succeeded as president by Henri Konan-Bédié, the national assembly speaker. (This was copied exactly from "Cote d'Ivoire (History)".)

Cultural Encounters of the African Kind

Most of Cote d'Ivoire's people are part of a tribe. Coastal tribes, such as the Kru and the Agni, are fishermen. The Baule, Bete, and Guro, who live on the forested part of the country, plant coffee and cocoa. Tribes inhabiting the savannas in the north/northeaster are herders or farmers. The Senoufo, a farming people, have a very close relationship with the land itself and it is emphasized in religious practices and through lineage. Each lineage has a mythical ancestor who is often identified as an animal. This animal, or "totem" has a special niche in their world view. The people of the northwest region are mostly Malinke, who are traders and merchants. The largest cultural complex in Cote d'Ivoire are the Mande peoples. They are traders, artisans and cultivators.

I found a wonderful site full of African masks, some of which were made in Cote d'Ivoire. Take a look…

Don’t Drink the Water

(And other Travel dos and don’ts)

When traveling to other countries, people should receive vaccinations against diseases not common to their region and boosters against those that are more common in 3rd world countries. Before going to Cote d’Ivoire, I will need to receive the following vaccinations: Hepatitis A & B, yellow fever, Typhoid, and various boosters including measles and tetanus. Travel warnings are important to find, and the state government has a wonderful site listing all kinds of stuff you should know. (Just click on Travel Warnings.) Other information I picked up was how to stay healthy and keep from getting sick. They’re pretty basic things: wash your hands with soap and water frequently, avoid tap water, fountain drinks and ice cubes, "Boil it, cook it, peel it, or FORGET IT." Also, protect yourself from insects, keep your feet clean and dry, don’t eat food purchased from street vendors, no handling animals, don’t eat dairy unless you know it’s been pasteurized, and don’t swim in fresh water – salt water is usually safer.

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