Paul’s village, Bambougar Malik Ndeye, was an interesting sight. About 4km from Sokone, the village is made up of buildings with cement walls and grass or tin roofs. Most families live in a compound (like I do in the city), which is basically a group of several small buildings surrounded by some sort of fence. Each room, bedroom, kitchen is its own building with a courtyard-type thing in the middle where, in some cases there are animals (dogs, goats, sheep, chickens). The strange thing about Bambougar is that it has electricity thanks to an NGO (Non-Government Organization) that came through recently and gave everyone in the village solar panels. Most villages do not have any form of electricity and no running water. For water to drink, bathe in cook with and wash in there are deep wells, also likely installed by an NGO. The women of the villages bring large plastic basins to the well at various times during the day and fill them up by pulling buckets of water up (10m or so) by hand. Latrines in villages are made up of a cement slab with a hole in it, covering a septic tank-like structure. These are usually surrounded by a grass fence and is also where people take their bucket-baths.
I’m planning on visiting a couple more villages in the near future so I can get a feel for the life of a rural volunteer.