One Year in Guinea!
If I am not mistaken, I told you all in an earlier post that I was planning an Agribusiness conference. The conference was a collaboration between Michelle (another PCV in Kankan) and I. The purpose of the conference was to provide local farmers and gardeners with business skills. The conference took place on November 20th and it was really a success. The conference could not have gone any smoother. The topics of the conference included an Introduction on Agribusiness, Marketing, Accounting and Planning. We had 13 attendees most of which were primarily women. Everyone in attendance seemed ecstatic to be there. Throughout the sessions, we found it difficult to contain everyone because they were so filled with excitement from what they were learning. Many of them shared a sentiment along the lines of I have never thought about doing this (accounting, marketing, etc.) but it makes so much sense and will help me.
This conference was very special to me because it is the first project that I’ve done with a large group in French. My French has improved drastically since arriving in Guinea. When I first arrived in Kankan, I was not comfortable with the idea of facilitating or teaching in a large group because I felt that I still needed to work on my French. The fact that I was able to facilitate a large meeting in French is very significant because it is a symbol of the progress I’ve made with my French and also sets the precedent for what I can achieve during my next year of service.
I am very pleased that I was able to organize this event before my vacation in America. My vacation to America takes place during the midpoint of my service in the Peace Corps. I think that the time I spend in America will provide the chance to think more thoroughly about what I’ve done the past year. The Peace Corps is a very immersive experience and I think it is sometimes difficult to comprehend and value the importance of what is happening in front of you. When I am in America, I will get to live as a non-PCV for a while and I think it will add some perspective to the experience and reenergize me for the next year of service.
An old Peace Corps Volunteer and her husband were in Kankan for a night this week, I was really happy that I had the chance to meet them. We ended up having a dinner and had a great time discussing how much and how little the country has changed since she was a PCV. The chance to meet with a former RPCV only reaffirmed the decision that I made the right decision to join the Peace Corps.
In other news, Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I will be in America for a little under 3 weeks from December to January and I could not be more excited. I find it very hard to believe that I have been in Guinea for a year. I feel like time has truly flown by.