Take my picture

mindatlarge:

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What you see in this picture comes from a place where the road surrenders to the earth.

What you see in this picture is the reason I traveled 6,400 miles.

What you see in this picture is the reason I am learning to speak another language.

What you see in this picture is braver than you or I.

What you see in this picture could have been you or I.

What you see in this picture is a girl who will learn to tend her own garden and avoid malnutrition.

What you see in this picture is the reason I will not leave Africa.

This picture is so many things, but it was made possible because you were a great friend, teacher, farmer, or family member that believed in me.

This picture

is for you.

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New arrivals in Malawi are not so different from me

New arrivals in Malawi are not so different from me

This piece originally appeared in full at “The Enterprise.”

The first few days and weeks in Malawi can be overwhelming. The 20-hour flight seems endless, and with hardly any sleep it’s easy to get flustered. Reading any of the hundreds of books about this continent can never be a match for learning about Africa when living here. Years ago in grade school we were taught about Africa as a continent…

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Camp GLOW: Girls Leading Our World…in Funyula

sweetteeblog:

Camp GLOW: Girls Leading Our World…in Funyula

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“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud” -Coco Chanel

I coordinated a Camp GLOW: Girls Leading Our World, in my local community where we focused on character development, health/healthy living and professional development. Camp GLOW is a PEPFAR and Peace Corps initiative, they hold large regional camps annually in Kenya. I applied for a grant through World Connect to host…

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africaam33:

Camp Sky!

So Camp Sky finished a couple weeks ago, but I’m still excited about it. It was mos def the best week of my Peace Corps service, and the most rewarding. Personally, I was taking pictures and videos for our blog to share with the world (campskymw.tumblr.com if you haven’t checked it out yet!) and I taught a lesson about poetry vs. prose using my ukulele and songs by Simon & Garfunkel, Bon Iver, and T. Swift. Oh also, I cleaned a lot. If you want to know more about the week, look at the blog or feel free to ask me anything about it. Camp Sky was real amazing and inspiring and made my whole service! From cleaning up in the beginning, to watching kids shine creatively, to watching them get super into activities like flip cup (with water!), scavenger hunts, the Macarena, asking questions to guest Malawian professionals, singing songs, creating songs in 30 minutes, and engaging in lessons, to seeing some use a computer for the first time, to watching them also try spaghetti for the first time (some enjoyed more than others), to hearing some students recite lines while watching the Romeo and Juliet, to saying goodbye…for now. Thanks to everybody involved…no matter how. That week was tremendous, and while our goal was to do it for the students it also did a lot for us PCV’s involved. YEWO CHOMENE

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ericwilburn:

Impromptu Malaria March

Today is World Malaria Day! According to WHO, 85% of Malaria cases and 90% of malaria deaths occur in Africa. Here in Alto, I have lost countless hours on projects to counterparts or a member of their family being sick with malaria. Fortunately, none of my close friends in Alto have lost family members to the disease while I’ve lived here, but a few had lost family members in the past.

I was feeling guilty about not planning any major events to create awareness and promote prevention and then it hit me. What resource in Mozambique is readily available, motivated and for all intents and purposes, unlimited? CRIANÇAS! Kids love marching around and screaming, so I figured we’d put their talents to some good use today. I hollered at Guebuza, my 9 year old neighbor and told him to grab some friends. We’re going on an impromptu Malaria March!

We started out with an intimidating crew of about 10, 5-9 year olds, and made our way down the hill, across the bridge, to the central market. All the way picking up a few kids here and losing a few kids there, but bringing it with some serious chanting. The main chants were:

“Usa!”

“Usa!”

“A Rede Mosquiteira!”

 “Use!”

“Use!”

“A Mosquito Net!”

“Podemos Prevenir”

“MALARIA!”

 “We can prevent”

“Malaria!”

“A Rede Mosquiteira!”

“HOYE!”

 “Mosquito Net”

 “Hurrah!”

After a brief stop at the central market to give an impromptu presentation about sleeping under a mosquito net, we made our way back across the bridge and half way up the giant hill before we had to take 5 in the shade.  We continued on and as I thought we were reaching the end near my house, we picked up about 30 more primary school students and thus did an extra lap through the primary and secondary schools (definitely interrupted testing, worth it for Malaria Prevention!). We finished the march at my house where I passed out water and doces americanas, ”american sweets”. The sweets were actually raisins, my health police mother would be proud.

 Often, I find that my favorite moments in Mozambique are the unplanned. At a minimum, I was able to put smiles on the faces of a bunch of crianças and taught them a bit about Malaria in the process. And hopefully, the local fofoca ”gossip” of the day will go a bit like this:

- “Did you see the American walking around with all those kids trapped in the mosquito net yelling about malaria?”

- “Yeah, probably the last thing I thought I’d see today! But I guess I should use the net I was given as a bed net instead of a fish catching device.. Malaria won’t affect my family!”

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Earlier this year, five Peace Corps Volunteers from the central highlands region of Madagascar gathered in the nation’s capital of Antananarivo to facilitate a weeklong GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) camp for young female leaders from their respective towns. The five Agriculture Volunteers selected four young women each from their respective communities, ages of 13-16, along with an adult chaperone to attend the camp. The aim was to equip young Malagasy women, who show potential for leadership, with the necessary skills to make healthy life choices as well as advance their personal, professional and academic goals.

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Images from the central highlands of Madagascar, shot during production of a film about traditional silk weavers and how access to international markets is radically changing lives for the better, especially for women. 

See how Peace Corps Volunteers are helping women like these silk-weaving artisans expand their business internationally to boost income-generation opportunities and provide steady income for their families

(Source: davidevansimages.photoshelter.com)

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