11 June 2007

Mail Run hardship (for the recipients)

In April, Colleen and I and John the driver went on PC-TG's monthly mail run. The Gambia is so small that PCVs' mail can be delivered (well, to varying degrees of success) to their 100 or so sites in a six day trek.

Colleen's description of our delivery debacles is a good rendition of our trip, so I will not say much more. It was great fun to drive all over The Gambia, and take in the varied environments -- flat grassland, flat mangroves, flat forested areas. I also enjoyed seeing how PCVs dealt with their different living situations, and talking to their host families. In a tweak of the traditional mail run survey, we opted to interview PCVs' families while we were at it. Between Colleen's Mandinka and my Wolof, we were able to converse with just about all the compounds we visited (non-Mandinkas and -Wolofs usually know at least one of them as a second or third language). One notable exception was Stephanie/Bintu's site, which is way the fuck out there.