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October 7, 2008 Infokiosk

I live in a national park; that’s one of Berberville’s better-kept secrets, unfortunately. The park includes mountains, my lake, Barbary sheep habitat, gorgeous fossils, etc, but no educational information center to inform visitors of what’s around. Yet. There’s been a sign up for a few years pointing to an empty patch of ground, and then this year, they built a lovely building to serve as the park’s info center. It’s still empty, though, so I went out to see what such a facility should offer.

On the recommendation of my program staff (aka my Peace Corps boss), I visited the site of a Peace Corps friend “Ali”. His area’s information center is called an Infokiosk – all one word – on signs and in conversation. To me, a “kiosk” is something transient, more or less following the design of Lucy’s psychiatry booth in Peanuts comics.

But not here. Ali’s Infokiosk is a stone building filled with exhibits teaching about the flora and fauna of their region, as well as a gorgeous diorama illustrating their Barbary sheep habitat. (Barbary sheep teeter on the brink of extinction, so the Moroccan government has set aside several large tracts of land to try to protect what shreds remain of their habitat.)

I took dozens or hundreds of pictures (bless my 2GB memory card!), and came back filled with ideas for ways to use my park’s info center…as soon as the exhibits are installed. That’s taking longer than I’d anticipated, for various reasons, but I’m doing what I can to help the process along.

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Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps