here's something i wrote like a week ago one night at homestay...enjoy.
Today I was almost attacked by a gecko when I opened the door to the latrine. It almost scared the pee out of me. Those little things look cute but they’re sneaky little buggers. Since I’m beginning with animals, I might as well add that donkey’s are the most ridiculous animals ever. The freakish noise that comes out of that being is absurd! They do go off like clockwork though- every hour without fail, our little friend over at Zeina’s (my language teacher) home stay reminds us that he’s there!
I have yet to see any really scary spiders, but I am completely used to having ants crawling over me all day. I’ve almost been pooped on a few times by the pretty metallic-blue birds that sit in the mango tree above us during class in the morning. Baby goats are the absolute cutest things ever, but goats in general are such trouble makers, so I’m glad we don’t have any at our house. The cats in my house are adorable but I’m afraid to touch them cus they probably have fleas or other nasty diseases. Maybe I’ll take one of the kittens from the training center with me to site when the time comes.
So, I’m super proud of our garden at the school here that is actually beginning to look like a real/totally amazing garden and pepenier! We put up a great fence around it yesterday and today we planted most of what we had, which is: moringa trees, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, eggplant, carrots, some kind of peas, and some other great stuff! It’s exciting to see the barren field of trash that it was actually becoming land that can grow something (well it is still full of trash, but it’s hard to keep it out when the trash burning pile is right outside our fence…can anyone say waste management issues are a huge problem in Senegal/Africa?!!) Anyway, can’t wait to see something besides weeds grow in our plots, although even seeing weeds grow was exciting because at least we can get what looked like sand to actually grow something with just a little love, manure, and water!
Being back at my home stay has been nice, the atmosphere at the training center is exciting but also a little overwhelming in its own way- too much to do, too many people to see, and too little time. I’m glad to be back in my own room and have the flexibility to shape my own free time a little more. I still have a lot of guilt though whenever I do anything besides sit out with my family and try to learn new words or study…but I honestly cannot handle spending all my free time focused on language acquisition or I’ll go crazy! My room is becoming a little more conducive to studying/hanging out in now that I have a floor mat that I love to sit on or take naps on.
I bought a djembe at the artisan market next to the training center in Thies for about 6 bucks. It’s small, but I love it and I’m trying to learn how to play. I think it took about 2 minutes for the entire neighborhood of kids to arrive in our yard when I first played it here…my neene was definitely giving my drum the death stare (I continually get the impression she doesn’t like my tam tam…I can’t imagine why). The kids love it and always ask for it. I love adding to the noise of daily life with my drum, I fit right in with all the blaring radios, TV’s, kids screaming, prayers, donkey’s wailing, and other commotion.
Each day I just think that once I get through PST (pre-service training) it will be perfect. Everything seems to fit just right these days. At least at this point, I feel like I couldn’t be doing anything better with my life, and I love it! Just keep pushing through the frustration of learning a new language at warp speed, and soon I will be able to communicate what I actually want to say, and hopefully give people a better idea of who I am/what I’m doing here.
After this session of training at the center I am so excited for the crazy amount of great projects that I could potentially work on! There’s just so much out there that it’s hard to even imagine what I will finally end up doing, but they all sound so great….gardening, composting, mud stoves/improved stoves, murals, building stuff, encouraging sustainable change etc…SO EXCITED!
As of yesterday, I now know where I will be spending the next two years (see below), and which friends I will get to see regularly. Heading back to my homestay village soon for the weekend before we visit our actual sites next week...excited for that! Hope to have time at some point to post some pictures...I know I'm getting really behind, and I apologize. I'll try to get to it soon!!