This is a guide for my family and friends about my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cape Verde, Africa. I teach English as foreign language to high school students in Boa Vista, Cape Verde. Also as a disclaimer, the comments expressed here are solely of the author and do not represent the United States Peace Corps, the American Government, or any other governing body.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wow this place is ablsolutely fabulous. I really didnĀ“t expect to love it this much but i do. Today we started shadowing and there are two trainees following one Volunteer, he has been here for almost 2 years. he took us hiking up a REALLY tall mountain, we didnt hike the whole way, occassionally you get rides from people and just hop in the back of their truck. its nice becasue you dont have to pay them and its a nice breeze. from the top we could see another island, the one with the volcano called FOGO. we have now come back to the capital for one night and thecity is absolutely crazy. MUCH different from the small town we have our training. i will post pictures of it when i get a chance to transfer them from my computer. i took the public buss system here in the city and everything is so cheap. for a half a chicken some fries and a coke it costs about 450$00 escudo which is roughly less than $4.00 and the food is delicious. there are a surprising number of french fries here and they are so good, but i never thought i would get that many here. these islands are growing fast and they are slightly more europeanized than mainland Africa. I like it, i look forward to travelling to the northern islands to see what its all about. well i need to go, i will post something again soon!


Blogger Valerie Fazel said...

Good going, Nadia! I look forward to climbing some of those trails myself when we vist next summer. French fries, huh? Are we talking fish and chips here?

I have some questions you may want to consider addressing in your blogs for the benefit of our (your reader's) education; our images of African nations are formulated and influenced by media images of poverty, illness and political upheavals. These images do not tell the entire story nor are they true for every African nation. Low income does not always equal poverty nor does it always measure ignorance and discontent. (And let's not assume all Africans live on low incomes.) Here's an existential question that may never be answered singularly by anyone, but you are certainly in a situation that may shed some insight on the human bent on wanting more: Based on your observations (some yet to be made), are material goods (other than food, water and shelter) necessary in order to live a satisfactory life? Is wanting more a social condition, or an innate one? Or is the economical situation in Cape Verde one we associate in general with African communities--working to meet the day to day expenses of the basic necessities? For example, you say you used the public transportation system, the bus (actually it was a very precarious ride in a mini-van), to get from one point of the island to another the way most Cape Verdians do. I would assume some people own their own private vehicles, so--for example--would car ownership be something to aspire to for the better off? Would it be a status thing? Or just not that important in the general scheme of things?

Generally speaking what activities do Cape Verdians like to pursue for entertainment? How does their climate effect their lifestyles? Are things cheap to you in comparision to living in the US or are they cheap for the local populations as well (I suspect not)? How much, for instance does a a half liter or bottled water cost? How have people responded to you personally as a woman, as an American, as an educated person? How does religion, race, and ethnicity figure into their assessment of you? What is their perspective of Americans? What are their expectations from you?

I can just see you rolling your eyes at my comments here and thinking--Oh, Mom! Whatever! But you are an educator now, and not just for your students in Cape Verde. We, too, are educated through your experiences. Love you.

17 July, 2006 23:21

Blogger shaheen said...

hey nadia - you rock. glad to hear you have settled in well.
don't worry - i am not going to try to follow that masterpiece from auntie valerie...but i would love to know your responses to those issues and questions as time goes on.
keep plugging away with those french fries...and i look forward to keeping an eye on this blog.
take care,


20 July, 2006 20:00

Blogger Jenna said...

OMG...I think your mom and my mom should be friends. I too am intersted in hearing your responses to these questions. I am also interested in hearing more about these french fries...I know how you like your fries.

31 July, 2006 15:07

Blogger Mushtaq said...

Hey Nadia I finally get to write a few words to you. I was very interested in the food aspect of this place, especially sea food. You know There will be a great choice of salt water fish like king fish , red snapper and of course shrimps and lobsters. All these can be thrown on the bar b q and devoured!!! But right now you are very busy with your creole and portuguese languages. So look forward to when you can indulge in these....the cuisine must be creole and portugese and both are excellent for seafood...hmmmm!!yum yum! Is it very humid there? That will be a great change from dry Phoenix! This place sounds like a laid back and slow paced and is just right for us when we retire!!
So enjoy every day and will write again!!! Take good care of yourself! Azmina will drop some lines too soon after her exams in middle of Aug.
Mushtaq U

02 August, 2006 01:48


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