2009.10.04: October 4, 2009: Headlines: COS - The Gambia: Santa Cruz Sentinel: Peace Corps volunteer Katie Hofstetter reports from The Gambia

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Gambia: Peace Corps The Gambia : Peace Corps The Gambia: Newest Stories: 2009.10.04: October 4, 2009: Headlines: COS - The Gambia: Santa Cruz Sentinel: Peace Corps volunteer Katie Hofstetter reports from The Gambia

By Admin1 (admin) (98.188.147.225) on Thursday, November 05, 2009 - 10:41 am: Edit Post

Peace Corps volunteer Katie Hofstetter reports from The Gambia

Peace Corps volunteer Katie Hofstetter reports from The Gambia

"Since it's the rainy season this country is green and gorgeous. Other volunteers have warned that the dry season is not nearly as scenic, so I'm trying to soak in the landscape while I've got it. Other than the greenery, and the fact that it's mango season, there doesn't seem to be too many positives about the rainy season -- it's also the hungry season because families are eating the last of last year's harvest and don't get to harvest again until the fall -- it's hot and humid so you're skin pretty much never dries..."

Peace Corps volunteer Katie Hofstetter reports from The Gambia

Peace Corps volunteer reports from The Gambia

- Sentinel staff report

Posted: 10/04/2009 01:30:39 AM PDT

Caption: Fellow Peace Corps volunteer Mike, Katie's language teacher Bakary and Katie on the day she was given her Gambian name, which is Sariba Sammateh

Katie Hofstetter, a graduate of Harbor High School and the daughter of Rick Hofstetter, is now serving with the Peace Corps in The Gambia, West Africa. She keeps family and friends posted on her experiences, which they have generously shared. Here is an excerpt of what she says in her latest report:

"Living conditions: I have my own two-room pad complete with bed, table and chair, oh, and a mosquito net, which is pretty much my best friend. The mosquito net covers my entire bed so I feel completely safe from all sorts of critters while I'm deep in slumber. Thank goodness for that net, too, because the other day, I woke up from a nap and a nice little bat had attached itself to one side of the net -- better the net than my face. A lizard and a myriad of insects have also stopped by my sweet crib for some short visits. And there's a fatty spider living up on the inner lining of my roof, but I think we've brokered a silent agreement where he rules the top half of the house and I rule the bottom half, and we don't overlap -- ever.

"My house is within the Sammateh family compound, which is headed by Mr. Boma Sammateh, my host father, and his three wives. Between the three wives there are about 15 children, and then Boma's brother also lives in the same compound with his two wives and their children, so there are a heck of a lot of people to keep straight.

"I still haven't figured out the whole family structure, but everybody has been super nice and very patient. Most of my host family speaks little to no English and it's funny, because as I pick up more and more Mandinka the language that my host family speaks and one of the six main local languages in The Gambia -- the smallest country in Africa I'm beginning to pick up on the different personalities within my host family.

"One of my host sisters, Mamjara, is about 2 and she screams bloody murder every time she sees me. The other kids and some of the adults in my compound think it's a really fun game to pick up Mamjara and bring her as near to me as possible before she wails -- this game does wonders for my ego. ..."

Katie goes on to write:

"Since it's the rainy season this country is green and gorgeous. Other volunteers have warned that the dry season is not nearly as scenic, so I'm trying to soak in the landscape while I've got it. Other than the greenery, and the fact that it's mango season, there doesn't seem to be too many positives about the rainy season -- it's also the hungry season because families are eating the last of last year's harvest and don't get to harvest again until the fall -- it's hot and humid so you're skin pretty much never dries..."

She reports what happens during the month with journal type entries, such as: "It's Aug. 10 now, and I saw a troop of baboons yesterday while on a jog in the African bush!! It is now Aug. 19, and I have a few little teaching-related updates. I failed miserably in teaching 9th graders about the water cycle and states of water. I was surprisingly successful in teaching 10th graders exponents, and multiplying exponents with variables."

Katie then traveled to Brikama to work in the Regional Education Office and be sworn in as an official Peace Corps volunteer. She will work there for two years.

If you'd like to write to Katie you can reach her at Katie Hofstetter -- PCV, C/O Peace Corps, P.O. Box 582, Banjul, The Gambia, West Africa.




Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: October, 2009; Peace Corps The Gambia; Directory of The Gambia RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for The Gambia RPCVs





When this story was posted in November 2009, this was on the front page of PCOL:




Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers RSS Feed

 Site Index Search PCOL with Google Contact PCOL Recent Posts Bulletin Board Open Discussion RPCV Directory Register

Oct 9, 2009: Turkmenistan Denies Entry to PCVs Date: October 10 2009 No: 1424 Oct 9, 2009: Turkmenistan Denies Entry to PCVs
Turkmenistan denies entry to PCVs 9 Oct
Guinea PCVs evacuated to Mali 8 Oct
Obituary for India Country Director Charles Houston 30 Sep
PCVs in Samoa are Safe after Tsunami 30 Sep
PCV Joseph Chow dies in accident in Tanzania 23 Sep
Aaron Oldenburg creates Peace Corps game 15 Sep
Chris Siegler helps rebuild Sierra Leone 10 Sep
Diana Kingston establishes bakery in Uganda 9 Sep
Beverly Pheto is top staffer on House Appropriations 8 Sep
Aaron Williams visits Dominican Republic 3 Sep
McKenzie Boekhoelder supports Sustainable Farming 24 Aug
Thomas Hollowell writes "Allah's Garden" 19 Aug
Scott Stossel writes: Eunice the Formidable 14 Aug
Peace Corps Program suspended in Mauritania 12 Aug
Jenny Phillips uses meditation to help convicts 11 Aug
Jim Turner operates the Hobbit House in Manila 10 Aug
Shelton Johnson in Ken Burns' New Documentary 7 Aug
Steve Gall is a Recess Freak 5 Aug
Scheper-Hughes reports Illegal Organ Trafficking 29 Jul
Tucker Childs Preserves West African Languages 27 Jul
Ambassador Hill gives Tough Love to Iraq 22 Jul
Lynee Moquete builds homes in DR 21 Jul
Time in Tunisia best years of Ken Dorph's life 18 Jul

Memo to Incoming Director Williams Date: August 24 2009 No: 1419 Memo to Incoming Director Williams
PCOL has asked five prominent RPCVs and Staff to write a memo on the most important issues facing the Peace Corps today. Issues raised include the independence of the Peace Corps, political appointments at the agency, revitalizing the five-year rule, lowering the ET rate, empowering volunteers, removing financial barriers to service, increasing the agency's budget, reducing costs, and making the Peace Corps bureaucracy more efficient and responsive. Latest: Greetings from Director Williams

Join Us Mr. President! Date: June 26 2009 No: 1380 Join Us Mr. President!
"We will double the size of the Peace Corps by its 50th anniversary in 2011. And we'll reach out to other nations to engage their young people in similar programs, so that we work side by side to take on the common challenges that confront all humanity," said Barack Obama during his campaign. Returned Volunteers rally and and march to the White House to support a bold new Peace Corps for a new age. Latest: Senator Dodd introduces Peace Corps Improvement and Expansion Act of 2009 .

Meet Aaron Williams - Our Next Director Date: July 30 2009 No: 1411 Meet Aaron Williams - Our Next Director
Senator Dodd's Senate Subcommittee held confirmation hearings for Aaron Williams to become the 18th Peace Corps Director. "It's exciting to have a nominee who served in the Peace Corps and also has experience in international development and management," said Dodd as he put Williams on the fast track to be confirmed by the full Senate before the August recess. Read our exclusive coverage of the hearings and our biography of Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams.



Read the stories and leave your comments.








Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - The Gambia

PCOL45109
40


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: