Friday, August 28, 2009

Another Day in the Vil

I’m in my first African internet cafe and I’m super happy that there is a USB port and that the computers run at a reasonable rate but I’m struggling with the keyboard hence no commas.

Everything is OK here in Senegal. I’m going to class everyday and trying to improve my Wolof and hanging out with my family and reading a lot. I finished my first book The Starter Wife which is appropriately trashy to keep me going.

I did want to pause to comment on a Senegalese fashion trend I definitely zant to bring back to the US and that is fanny pack necklaces. Yes my friends people wear mini fanny packs here around their necks to carry their money around. I’m talking black leather fanny packs with gold zippers. I cant help but smile every time I see them. I thought this fashion phenomenon was women only but I saw a man spôrting the look today and just about died.

I’m starting to get into a routine here which is good but which is also rather dull. My family isnt as social as other peoples so we dont have as many visitors. I am starting to fit in better though as my language improves and I become more comfortable with mu surroundings which unfortunately includes being rained on last night as my ceiling dripped because of the storm. I woke up put a cup on my bed with a towel around and slept at the foot of the bed spooning the cup and towel so I wouldnt get wet. Oh Senegal!

I really apprecite everyones emails and keep sending questions so I have something to talk about.

Have a great weekend. We have a half day of class Sunday so check back then. No pictures until I get back to the training center. Sorry!

And Happy Birthday again to everyone!


  1. So I assume that the keyboard drama is the reason for the whole w=z thing that's been going on the last couple of posts then.
    I have to admit you had me confused for a minute there.

  2. Ana, you have the best comments and observations!
    Let's go to Senegal togehter this summer and get a fanny pack necklace!!!

  3. Alyssa, you answered my question before I even had to ask. I had to use the computers here before we got wireless and a lot of the letters were switched and I had trouble with finding things like @ and stuff like that. But in a few of the posts I saw the z instead of w and I was like, "she totally is using a different keyboard." One of my roommates even looked it up. The swapage sounds way more complicated than the one here though.

    I'm also really jealous that you get to see fanny pack necklaces! That seems to be a pretty big style here too... just they wear it around their waist and put the fanny pack on their butt. Strangely enough, it looks totally fine.

    What is wolof like? Is the grammar complicated/is it rooted in anything?

  4. Ok so I saw one of Lindsey's comments earlier and I just have to comment and say that I am sitting in my room just moved in listening to a bunch of sorority girls singing ADPis just wanna have fun...i know you miss it just the slightest bit down in your heart...

    so this fanny pack necklace sounds super sweet and I very practical except I can't imagine you can fit a ton of money in there without choking yourself. I am also impressed with your ability to spoon a cup.

    Does Senegal have libraries where you are able to get books from? What are popular jobs for the men to have if they are typically the breadwinners?

    Jennie B

  5. Okay Alyssa, I have some questions for you about school and work. When does school start, how long is the school day, and how many years do kids go to school for? (Can you tell I have school on the brain?) When do kids begin having jobs? Does school basically train kids for jobs? It doesn't sound like many Senegalese have an opportunity to go to college. How do they decide what job they want, or is it somehow decided for them? I was thinking about the 18 year old brother, Ammelou, in your family. Will he return to school or does he have a job? No rush on the answers . . . I'm just curious!

  6. Hi Alyssa-
    I am loving everyone questions. Here is one for you when you get time. Tell us about the smell(s)... I remember when I lived in Japan it took me awhile to get used to the different smells but maybe the smells there are something you would rather not share! Love, T (Traci)

  7. jennie's comment put a smile on my face, and i hope yours too. how amazing is it that we never have to sing another rush song again! :)

  8. I have a question that isn't about Africa, but about your kindle. Do you like reading from it or is it really nothing like a book so hard to get used to? I'm thinking that it will be much easier to keep that on the boat then tons of books.

  9. PS - I realize I should have said this first!! I am really enjoying reading your blog. I hope this turns out to be a wonderful terrible experience for you and that you get everything from it that you had hoped for. I also hope that the people you work with appreciate what you have to give and really benefit from your time.