Thursday, April 5, 2012

We are here only.

We left Mbour yesterday morning and are back at the Peace Corps Training Center in Thies with mixed emotions. On one hand, it was very sad to say goodbye to our Senegalese host family, whom we were just beginning to feel very close to. On the other hand, we Gambian volunteers are excited to move to the Gambia next week and begin the second phase of our training.

Not long after arriving back at the center we did our first language proficiency interviews in Mandinka. I am both exited about how much we have learned in the past month and intimidated by the amount of things we don't know. However, Darrin and I were both able to greet the interviewer somewhat extensively and answer personal questions that she asked, which is far more than we could do before our time in Mbour.

For those readers who are not familiar with the greetings and common expressions used in many West African languages (Mandinka included), I will translate some of my favorites:
"I hope there is no trouble."/"There is no trouble."
"Are you at peace?"/"Peace only."
"How is your family?"/"They are there."
"How is your mother?"/"She is there."
"How are your children?"/"They are all there."
"How is the work?"/"The work is there only."  OR "I am on it, slowly slowly."
"How is the morning?"/"The morning is here only."
"You are sitting."/"Yes, I am sitting."

Mbour family!

Us girls and some girl who was getting her hair braided by my sister

Caoussou and Caoussou

Our room in Mbour


  1. Hi, Colette! Just found your blog via Facebook. I'm so excited for you & it sounds like you & Darrin are just about perfect fits for the Peace Corps. It's good to read your writing again & follow along on your journey! Best wishes.

  2. Colette and Darrin,

    Big hello from Iowa! I am loving your blog! I have sort of traveled back in time, started with the most recent and moving down, and I am totally thrilled to see what an amazing time you two are having. That dress is incredible! I bet that was made to fit too! I have been hanging out with Ba on Friday's and she sends you nothing but the best of love and good wishes (so does the rest of the Bledel family)! Shes so dang sweeet! I took a great picture of her that I will try and send through facebook. We miss you guys! Many Blessings!