Monday, March 28, 2011

half way there

Two gross things have happened today. The first being Felix eating a cockroach this morning, which is disgusting enough by itself. Then on my bush taxi ride I was subjected to being smashed up against the metal bars while the woman next to me smothered me with her sweaty armpit. Gross. But a nice friend of mine did pay my pass, so I guess it balances out.

Along with the pungent smell of BO, we have recently begun to endure the start of HOT SEASON. I am grateful that it still drops below 100 during the nights and I wake up covered with my sheet, not a bucket of sweat. Only too soon will I have to start dumping buckets of water over me before I go to bed so I can actually fall asleep.

Since we’ve hit our year mark, it seems like the wheel of time has started to spin much faster. It now feels like there’s just not enough time to get everything done! We’ve been planning away for a weeklong girls camp that will be occurring in July in Ndioum, for which we will each bring 4 girls from our respective schools to participate. I have also decided recently to participate in the Michelle Sylvester scholarship program for middle school girls, which involves me selecting 9 finalists and then 3 winners to receive a sum of money towards their school fees and materials.

The past few weeks have busy- I helped my friend Hadiel in her village (about 35k from me) with a agriculture seminar she organized for farmers and people wanting to learn more about crop rotation, improved beds, better watering practices, outplanting, river side gardening etc. She had the ag. trainer from Peace Corps come give the lecture and do demonstrations. I just helped everything run smoothly and helped her not go too insane with it all. The following day Amber and I also helped her paint the 3 rooms of the Case de Sante (health hut) with her brother who is currently being trained to run it.

A few days after I returned to village I had a visitor from Dakar, an American student studying abroad for the semester. The program does site visits with PCVs around Senegal for the student to be able to see what small villages are like outside of Dakar. It was interesting to have an outsider come visit, it made me reminisce about how I initially felt in village and what I noticed in the beginning. It actually made me step back and be a lot nicer to people as well in daily encounters…I took the time to see it from a different perspective and realized I’m getting worn down and easily frustrated with certain things. A few of us have recently decided to try going for an entire week without yelling at anyone… which will be a challenge. Harassment and unwanted attention become very different after a year of endurance than they were in the beginning, when it was nice to be noticed and doted upon. Toubab gets old. Give me money gets old. Explaining your job gets old. Talking to everybody all the time gets old. And then you get bitter. And if you don’t watch it, you might just turn into a meany. Some days are better than others.. :)

Well today I might be subjected to getting my hair braided (…?) while I wait in my road town for a friend to show up. I’ll only post pictures if it’s not completely horrendous looking.

Check out the new pics on FB for your viewing pleasure (since I’m incapable of incorporating them into this blog):