Someone I know is going to work for the Teach for America program in Tchula, Mississippi. I’m curious about what life will be like for her there. I don’t know much about that part of the country. Can folks here fill me in?
This Wikipedia link pretty much sums it up. About halfway between Yazoo City and Greenwood.
Follow up question: Where is your friend from? I can pretty much guarantee she’s in for major culture shock.
She’s used to culture shock. She was born in Ukraine in 1991 and lived there until the age of 14. She then came to the U.S., and lived in the San Francisco Bay Area until she graduated from high school. Next she went to Philadelphia, where she attended University of Pennsylvania. While attending Penn she went to Egypt for a few months, where she taught English to Ethiopian immigrants. She also spent several months in Spain as an exchange student. She has also visited Israel, the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Austria, the Czech Republic, France and probably several other places that I’m forgetting right now.
That being said, I suspect that spending a couple of years in Tchula will be difficult. She has encountered poverty, but not of type one finds in the Mississippi delta. I’ve done a few web searches and haven’t found anything interesting about the place. How to people spend their time there? Is there anything of cultural interest?
You’re absolutely right about the poverty situation. That area is probably about as close as you can get to a third world nation without leaving the States.
As for your inability to find anything interesting about Tchula…that’s because there really isn’t much of interest there. It’s larger than some small delta towns, but still tiny. I haven’t been through there in 20 years. Not sure if they even have a Wal-Mart. If they do, it is likely about as fancy as shopping gets in Tchula.
On the upside, she won’t be too terribly far from Memphis, which has a great zoo, shopping, etc. There are the casinos over in Tunica, which bring in b-list concerts and such fairly frequently. There’s a “Blues Trail” with a museum over in Clarksdale–Morgan Freeman lives there, and I think still has a restaurant there.
The Emett Till case was tried in Tallahatchie County, in a tiny little town called Sumner.
Jackson is also day-tripable from there if she gets tired of driving to Memphis.
During July-September, she’s going to think she’s moved to the south side of Hell. The weather will be 95-100+ every day, with a chance of rain in the afternoon.
Even finding housing is likely to be a challenge. I strongly suspect that if there are any rental units in Tchula, she…would prefer to be elsewhere. Might want to look at living in Greenwood or Yazzo City and commuting.