Monday, September 29, 2008

Arrived in Mindelo!

So I have finally arrived in which is really exciting and nerve racking. Having a week of luxury in Praia before I came will probably make this adjustment a little difficult. I just arrived yesterday so I havenºt gotten to see the whole town yet but I am excited about exploring some more. Mindello has a very European like feel to it and it seems quite nice.
Anyway... tomorrow if I can figure out how to get to the SOS i will be going to work... Today I talked to my counterpart and had an unbelievable time trying to figure out where the place is located and therefore have no idea how to get there and no one in the area knows where it is. Plus I have no idea what my address is so itºs hard to explain where I am.

Mindelo is the second largest city in Cape Verde. I’m living with another volunteer in an apartment in basically the middle of town. It feels like a pretty safe neighborhood and our apartment building mostly consists of families which is very nice.

Lindsay and I after finding out that we would be living in Mindelo together.

My Room
Kitchen and living room

Another view of the Harbor from the balcony

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Almost there....

We'll I am offially a volunteer now. We swore in on Saturday which was really nice and a relief to be done with training (well sort of done). Right after swearing in we had a small get together with out host families but than unfortunatly I was rushed out and didn't feel that I got a really good proper goodbye to my host mom which was very frustrating. She was extremely upset and it was really hard to leave people who have essentially become my family. My host family was incredible to me and we had gotten really close. They all had an incredible amount of patience with helping me learn Kriolu especially my host mom who is a kindergarden teacher and would make sure that I wrote things done/said things back to her to make sure I understood everything (which was great because it ensured that I didn't just say "uhh huh" back and not really get it). Anyway so I was pretty bummed out to not get to have a proper goodbye to my host family who had been so great to me, but I'm hoping to get to visit them in a few months when I come back to Santiago.

Picture of Andrew and I bringing our bags to Assomada before swearing in.

Anyway... So this week I am doing an additional week of training with the NGO that I will be working for in Mindello. I will be working for the SOS-Kinderdorf which is an international organization, founded by a man in Austria after WWII, that provides homes for orphaned children, counseling and social development in over 132 countries. This week I'm just learning more about the organization and what my role will be there. So far it seems like a very interesting organization and I'm pretty excited about getting to work there. The SOS in Mindello is brand new which is exciting and they are trying to do more community oriented activities/ counseling for families instead of just being a group home, in an effort for children to go back with their biological parents if at all posible.

The only thing about staying here in Praia for an extra week is that I didn't get to go to Mindello with my roommate and check out our apartment which is kind of disapointing, but I think that it will all work out. We are staying in SOS housing which is really nice and has A/C which is crazy and so awesome because it is super hot in Praia, much hotter than in the country. But it's also a really weird transition into service because it is all so nice...
This was after we thought Dacia killed the cockaroach and than it came back to life...
I will be changing my address sometime soon once I get to Mindello and get a P.O. Box and I will most certainly keep you all posted on that so I can read more of all your amazing letters which I love so much.

Here are two links about the SOS if you are interested in learning more about the organization:

Hope everyone is doing well back in the USA and I will try my best to start writing more now that I have more time.