<i>An excerpt from a book written by PCV Leita Kaldi, '93-'96. She briefly summarizes her service in a Sereer village:</i>
The author, a fifty-five year old American woman, thinks she knows something about international development, having worked at the United Nations and UNESCO, but she has never been a Peace Corps Volunteer. Off she goes to a bush village in Senegal, to live in a tiny house without electricity or running water, to work with Sérère villagers who present her with cultural conflicts that include lessons in Islam alongside animistic spells and rituals. In spite of physical discomforts that are only tedious in the context of real suffering that surrounds her, the narrator finds an essential connection to humanity and to the planet that keeps her in her adopted village for three instead of two years. In the end, however, in spite of all her best efforts to help neighbors and friends, she feels the futility of her often misguided efforts. When, at the end of her assignment, she finds a pair of roller skates in the Peace Corps office and skates through the corridors, the conviction hits her that this is the only thing she has really known how to do since she arrived. The reader perceives something different, however, through the stories of people she has touched: Bayalou, whom she saves from becoming a cripple; Coulibali, whose butik business improves with a few retailing tips; Omar, the artiste autodidacht, whom she moves from drawing in the sand to becoming a successful painter; the women of Diakhanor, who build a warehouse for their smoked shellfish and millet and consequently develop a thriving business. This book is about learning wisdom and goodness in spite of oneself from the greatest teachers on the planet, the poor.
Jesse found part of [this] VAD from 1990 while cleaning out his office. Scott wrote this VAD for a pilot National Parks-Environmental Education program placing one Volunteer at Popenguine and another at Niokolo Koba National Park.