Sam Levin


Sam Levin

Originally from South Bend, Indiana, I graduated from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts in 2007. Was in Guinea with the Peace Corps from 2007-2009. Got an MBA at EGP-University of Porto Business School in Porto, Portugal 2010-2011. Currently serving as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Mali.

Disclaimer: The contents of this page, and all links appearing on this page, do not represent the positions, views or intents of the U.S. Government, United States Peace Corps or Peace Corps of the specific country mentioned above.

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako April 1st 2012

Blog About Malaria Month 2012 Over half of a million people died from malaria last year. This is more people than in the average American city. Imagine the entire city of Atlanta being wiped off the map. The year before, we lost Denver. The year before that, all of Boston, all gone, in one fell swoop. The majority of these deaths took place in Africa. In fact there are six countries that account for over 60% of worldwide malaria deaths: Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, the DRC, Nigeria, Mozambique, and … Mali. Malaria has been around for centuries. King Tut likely died of malaria in 1332 B.C. This makes it seem like fighting malaria is a lost cause. It’s been around since forever and it’ll be around forever. But this isn’t true. Malaria is on the decline. ... read more
Manic Mande Malaria Bike Tour

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako February 13th 2012

I really want to video everything when I walk around to help explain to people what life is like here, but I don't really feel comfortable doing that. I was able to more or less steathily record this street scene from my apartment window. It's a pretty boring video of the street below, and actually one of the quieter and calmer moments. If you have anything that you want me to get on camera here, let me know!... read more

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako January 30th 2012

Every morning I walk a little over a mile (~2 km) to work. Between dodging traffic, stopping to greet people, and picking up some breakfast along the way this can take me almost 30 minutes. This combined with the walk home in the afternoon is by far the most stressful part of my day. It can at times be the most fulfilling, but this morning was not one of those experiences. Today as I was walking it was impossible to ignore the rancid smell that filled the portion of my walk that takes me along a paved road. There is normally a mix of smells in the air, and admittedly most of them are unpleasant: burning trash, exhaust from all the vehicles, and occasionally urine and feces. I’ve become more or less accustomed to all of ... read more
For the Portuguese

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako November 24th 2011

Thanksgiving is my friend Raven's favorite holiday. Aside from the insane amount of food involved, I never really understood why. This year however, I realized that Thanksgiving is an important time, and not just because of the desserts. Thanksgiving is where this all started. It is where everything changed. In 2007, my entire family got together outside of Elkhart, Indiana in a place called South Fork to celebrate Thanksgiving. A few days before my pending departure to Guinea, the day served also a going away party (there were posters with elephants on them that said, "Good luck in Africa, Samantha!") and a pre-mature birthday celebration (birthday cake and pumpkin pie, really what more can you ask for?) A lot has changed since then. One year later I was in the West African capital city of Conakry ... read more
Thanksgiving 2011

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako » Bamako October 18th 2011

After two years, I've come back to West Africa. The first two weeks in Senegal were surreal. I just dived back into life African Peace Corps lifestyle as if I had never left. My French luckily reappeared. But within 24 hours there were people testing my Pular as well. This proved to be a bit more challenging to recall. But I was never fabulous at Pular, so it was really as if nothing had changed. It was as if the last two years of my life hadn't happened at all. No year in Boston, no MBA from Portugal. This was very bittersweet. There was a a degree of relief: I knew how to do things already and I could easily slide in the flow of life here. But there was also a sense of regression: if ... read more
The Peuhls and their Cows

North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas September 6th 2011

The last three weeks have been filled with enough action to make it feel like it's been a full year. I arrived in Las Vegas two weeks before my sister's due date. Upon arrival, I was a little uncomfortable and disoriented as I often am when I arrive in a new place. I wondered what the hell I was going to do for two weeks before the baby came. Then, surprise, surpise, less than 48 hours after I arrived, Lindsey's water broke! We made our way to the hospital and about two hours later my nephew Owen was born. The next few days were filled with running around, learning how to drive again, doing endless amounts of laundry, and dog-sitting my two new best friends. Things didn't really calm down until after the brit milah the ... read more
My new boyfriend, Jackson
The happy couple!

North America » United States » Massachusetts » Boston August 14th 2011

It is August 14 which means that I must have just spent two weeks in Boston. While I'm sitting in the airport waiting to board a flight to Las Vegas "disoriented" is perhaps the best way to describe my current state. Three weeks ago I was in Madrid finishing my MBA. Two weeks ago I was in Porto saying good-bye to everyone and everything that I'd come to love over the past year. The past 14 days have a been a roller-coaster of interviews, abusing the MBTA, fast food, life-altering choices, and most importantly reunions with friends from college, Indiana, Peace Corps, and past colleagues. As I try to describe it all perhaps"overwhelming" is a better adjective. Boston in the summer is a beautiful place. Despite the hour long trips on the B-train and waiting for ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto » Póvoa de Varzim July 10th 2011

I've been told that I need to post a new blog entry, so here we go! After a weekend of finishing up school work and lying in bed watching the entire second season of "How I Met Your Mother" (I'm already ashamed, please don't mock me further), I convinced my roommate that we needed to leave the house. Luckily our good friend Miguel called at that exact moment wanting to get out of the city. So we piled into the car and headed North to Póvoa de Varzim. Up until now, Póvoa hasn't meant much to me except for the last stop way out in the middle of nowhere on the red line, and the summer home of one of my classmates. But upon arriving there it was immediately apparent that we were in a resort ... read more
Francesinha Povoa-Style
Pizza @ Caruso
Khan El Khalili

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto March 1st 2011

I can't think of how to explain Portugal, so instead of trying that momumentous task, let's talk about my favorite thing: Food. Portuguese cuisine not only varies from region to region but from town to town. There is a well deserved culinary pride. The details of this post are by no means family secrets or specialties, but merely a few things that I have found interesting that I hadn't necessarily encountered before living in Porto. Pastéis de Nata: Literally, Cream Pastries, pastéis da nata can thankfully be found at every cafe (and there's probably at least one of every corner). They are enjoyed throughout the day by the Portuguese, and best served when freshly sprinkled with cinnamon (canela). Note: when ordering, "pastel de Nata" will get you one, "pastéis de nata" says you want more than ... read more
World's Largest Aletria!

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto December 21st 2010

I remember saying these words in November 2009 and repeating them many times since. I also remember saying I had absolutely no desire to ever live in Europe. Never say never I guess ... Let's back up a little bit ... After the last entry, I went to Morocco for a couple weeks, then flew through Lisbon (my worst flight experience ever) to Boston. I spent about nine months there, worked some random jobs including a couple weeks at the Museum of Science and about five months at Northeastern University. And then something unexpected happened. My friend Liz called me, freaking out because she was leaving in two weeks for Portugal to get an MBA. She asked (what I thought was rhetorically) if I would go with her. I said that due to my first and ... read more
Birthday Dinner

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