Friday, July 27, 2012

so it's over,.. (3 of 4)

>> my replacement! awhile ago, peace corps began to ask us about our sites, wehether or not we felt the site deserved a replacement, any special difficulties we faced, problems with housing or administration or the community as a whole. with the exception of the theft, i had no complaints. i suggested a male volunteer instead of a female volunteer for the sole reason that the school has 30 male teachers and 1 female teacher and a majority of other women in the gbendembu community spend their mornings and afternoons farming and their evenings cooking food for their families and the nights cleaning. (i recognize that this is not unique to gbendembu, but i mentioned to peace corps that i felt if they could make it work that a male might do better.) enter bryan gastonguay. my replacement, also named bryan (giggle giggle) is very bright, optimistic, motivated, and naive, but that's exactly how he should be :) he came on a site visit for three nights and i got to show him gbendembu, introduce him to my friends, make suggestions, and answer any questions he had. he was very impressed with the house, seemed a little surprised that he was not going to have 'the peace corps experience' aka the image we all have of a mud hut with fire pit, etc. however, as he settled in, i think he realizes just how 'set' he is in gbendembu. a motivated administration, a fine house, good friends that will welcome him, (plentiful palm wine), and far enough from freetown to be independent but not desperately far away. it was refreshing to spend time with him because he reminded me of how i felt way back when. i remembered my own site visit when there was only my principal and a few teachers to greet me and take me around. this future volunteer got ME to walk him around. could there be anything better? ill mention a few moments that made me feel like he'll be a perfect fit. (1) he sits down in the parlor. i sit down on the day bed. tink walks in, looks at me, looks at him, jumps up next to him and snuggles next to his lap and he begins to absently scratch behind her ears. he asks, "I was thinking about getting a dog, but I really like Tink.. Could I have her?" (At this point I teared up and had to non-obviously go into the kitchen because my sadness about Tink and who would indeed take care of her had been one of my biggest worries). (2) on his last night, i arranged for a small dance. there was plentiful wine (some beer), lots of food, and loud music. whereas other new volunteers might have stayed to the shadows and been in an observational mood, bryan jumped right up and joined me in dancing amidst the rain, mud, and children, not in the least self-concious. i wish you the best of luck, bryan. it's your home now. (and my departure is post #4) take care of it for me. i love and miss you all :)

No comments:

Post a Comment