Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Well, 10 days to go till Ramadan is finally over. All I can hope is that things pick up a little once everyone is back to their semi-active selves and ready to do some work! Returning to village after English camps and IST was fine, I did great for almost 2 weeks, which is right about when the serious boredom kicked in. So I went to my regional house to do some research on grants and radio shows, and to relax a bit. On my way I visited my neighbor Hadiel for the night and tried to help her paint her hut (a bit of a failure...we ended up painting her bathroom door a pukey green...mixing paint is harder than it seems!). Then back to the village for a few days, where once again, I got unbearably bored.
So this past weekend I decided to make a trip to Ourosougi and check out our new "office" apartment (like a small regional house), which has been great but turned into a much longer trip than intended. The apartment is great, except for not having water ALL WEEKEND. I feel pretty disgusting right now and just want to take a bucket bath in my own bathroom. I was ready to head out yesterday afternoon when I learned that if I stayed till today, I could get a free ride with Counterpart International, and organization that volunteers often collaborate with. And so I am sitting in their air conditioned office, using their wifi, while I wait for the car to leave. It's been a long weekend and I'm actually ready to get back to the village. Finally bought some paint to do murals with and will buy fencing this afternoon so I can start outplanting my pepenier at my house-- something to do!!
Well wish me luck with the rest of Ramadan, update again soon. Miss you America!!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Food Babies, Floods, and Festivities

IST done: check. 10 extra pounds: check. more delicious food than I could possibly eat: check. Yesterday a group of us made our way to Dakar from Thies after IST was over, and spent the day planning the week of English camp (while we enjoyed a delicious catered lunch, no less) with the teachers of the English Access Camp run by the US Embassy. It's going to be a great week, basically playing games all morning with the kids and enjoying Dakar every afternoon.

For our last night in Thies, we trudged through the pouring rain and flooding waters to Big Fam, our favorite restaurant in Thies, where my friend Sarah and I shared a Croche Madame, Big Burger, 2 beers, and a large creme filled beignet (basically a huge donut). Following that, we jumped in the pool while it was pouring rain (so fun).
Our trip back to the center was even more ridiculous... as we waded through knee high flooded streets trying to get to the tailor to pick up another volunteers clothes, our friend stepped right into an open sewer hole and fell waist deep into the muddy, sewer infested water (my biggest fear as we walked through the darkness not knowing where we were stepping...!) All was ok though, since this was not her first time this has happened to her (what a trooper).

Last night we enjoyed delicious Thai food, which I've been dreaming about since the last time I went there when we were in Dakar...it was just as amazing as I remembered it to be. We went to enjoy Nice Cream following dinner to get ice cream, and I had the worst experience ever...and now I hate Nice Cream. Somehow I was the last to order of our group, and had to wait like 40 minutes while person after person got helped before me (welcome to Senegalese customer service). By the time I got my ice cream I didn't even want it any more and everyone else was done eating. Then we went out to get a taxi and I was harassed by Talibe for 10 minutes while we tried to flag a cab...I almost cracked. And, unfortunately for Nice Cream, all my anger and frustration of that night is now channeled into hating them and never wanting to go there again (unless we order ahead/get it delivered/take out etc...which they do. amazingly).

I've decided that being a PCV in a small village breeds borderline eating disorders... all we can do when we are in Thies or Dakar is eat obscene amounts of food that we are usually deprived of. I also feel like all I've talked about in the last week has been food, but I swear, I do not have an eating disorder...I'm just a PC Volunteer! Food becomes so much more important when you don't have enough or are nutritionally deprived, so really I'm just stocking up for when I return to village and Ramadan starts. Don't get the wrong idea though, I am never truly hungry- there's always enough food- just not enough quality. But hey, I'm faithful in taking my pre-natal vitamins every day (given to us ALL by Med to keep us healthy and strong!!).

Well now that I've written an entire blog almost completely about food, I will wait till something more interesting happens before I post again. I'm sure some interesting scenarios will result from a week spent with a group of 85 fourteen year olds :)