April 25, 2009
If we get our Visas tomorrow (and I have faith that they'll come!), Monday morning at 7am, Collin and I will travel to Mali in West Africa for an internship. We'll be doing an evaluation of 6 villages in 6 weeks in the area of Ouelessebougou for a non-profit organization here in Utah. They have hospitals, and schools there, and we'll visit each village, interview the chief, elders, children in the schools, teachers, the matron, doctors, etc. We'll have a chat with the women, do mapping and time line exercises, go on transect walks all the while documenting in every way possible.
The national language is French, but most in the villages speak only Bambara. We will have Malian translators who also work for the Ouelessebougou Utah Alliance. I understand French, for the most part, but have a hard time forming sentences. Thankfully, Collin served his mission in Paris, and will help me a lot.
Our goal is to gather information, analyze it, take it back to the villages later this year, get them involved in solving problems and making decisions, and ultimately to impower them and help them become more self-reliant.
I've gone through so many emotions, feeling pressure and inadequacy. But I'm prayerful and faithful that Heavenly Father will give me strength to do everything I need to do.
The church is not there at all, so it will be hard not to take the sacrament or go to the temple for 6 weeks. I believe this will make me even more grateful for these things in my life.
My beautiful perfect husband is sleeping next to me. He's my best friend. We've been married only 5 months and 3 days, but have already been through so much together. Though the trials have been hard, they've brought us closer and the happy times are even more.
I'll cuddle up to him now.