Sunday, September 11, 2011

This Old Hut: Scott Jorgensen

You’ve seen television shows like MTV Cribs, which takes viewers into the ultra-glamorous homes of actors, rappers, and flavor of the month celebrities. Now, in an ongoing segment here at You Are Here Only, comes a look into the homes of the hardworking, heavy-sweating volunteers of Peace Corps: The Gambia. In the inaugural episode of This Old Hut, Environment Volunteer Scott Jorgensen (and his faithful feline companion, Carlos) gives us a tour of his hut, located in the heart of a Fula village in the North Bank Region of The Gambia.

Music credit: The Suburbs by Arcade Fire


  1. Hi Scott and Marta,
    I liked your hut. It seems that the Peace Corps is much better at situating Peace Corps volunteers than when I served in Senegal from 1979 to 1982. I lived in a Mandinka village 35km north of Koussanar, about 70km north of the border between The Gambia and Senegal.

    You have all the nice amenities of a true home hut, lol, i.e. latrine in the back yard, garden, two burner stove,and rice sack in the ceiling.

    It looks like you built the latrine yourself. Did you? I wasn't smart enough to build my own latrine. I used the one in the backyard of the chief of the village or the one next to the school, both inconvenient when dysentery was in full stride.

    I want to thank you and Marta for your service to the people of The Gambia. I hope you both stay safe and healthy.

  2. Hi Kim, thanks for the comments. Lucky for current volunteers, a cement pit latrine is a major requirement Peace Corps insists upon. Families/compounds that house PCVs are required to have clean, secured (i.e. fenced in) private bathrooms. Most families share one bathroom in this country, and while very few volunteers get a flushing toilet, I'm grateful that I don't have to share a bathroom with 25 other people!

    The living experience is certainly a humbling one, and it was nice to visit Scott and fellow volunteers to see how each one makes their home a home.

    Thanks for watching,

  3. Hi Kim, thank you for the well wishes! I am glad that Peace Corps now insists on clean pit latrines for volunteers now. I bet that you had it rough.


    This video is fantastic, I finally found the right combination of day, computer, and bandwidth to be able to watch the video of my home. I think you did an amazing job and you make me look really good! Thank you and keep up the good videos.

  4. Hi Scott and Marta,

    When I was in my village Daoudi, 35km north of Koussanar, I developed another corollary to one of Newton's laws of physics. To each advantage there is an equal and opposite disadvantage.

    Some things were better (like less violence in Senegal) and some things were worse (like waiting 2 weeks to make a phone call from Tambacounda to Dakar because the phones did not work. Then having to travel to Dakar to talk to the person because going every day to the post office to make a call on phones that did not work was not working. lol)

    Phones and internet bring PCV's closer to the US, but maybe they interfere with a PCV's relationship with the people in their village and home country.

    Your own latrine sounds great. Please stay healthy and safe.