by Brandon Lundy, São Domingos, Cape Verde
After three months of training, Volunteers travel to the site where they will spend the next two years. It is a very apprehensive time.
My own journey started with a ride in a bush taxi. These are vans that comfortably fit 12 people and carry people around the island for a small fee. I chose the closest vehicle, climbed to the back and waited, and waited, and waited. The van slowly filled with 12 wary travelers. I was cramped but at least we could finally begin our journey to the mountainous interior on the gorgeous hand-made cobblestone roads. Not so! The car continued to fill and I couldn't breathe. We waited for another hour. Finally, we had 23 people squeezed in with 4 people on other passengers' laps and one guy's posterior out the window.
When I arrived at my site location, I shouted, "Para li" ("Stop here!"), the only Creole I could remember. I crawled over many sweaty passengers and reached daylight. I paid the driver and the bush taxi took off. I was left standing beside the road, not knowing what to do or where to go next. There were mountains surrounding this small town and everything was green from the rainy season. I took full advantage of the beauty and headed straight for the mountains. Everywhere I turned there were goats and farmers—they were farming right on the sides of the mountains! I introduced myself to a farmer, we shook hands, and the rest is history. Welcome to São Domingos!