Monday, August 24, 2009

Senegalese Pizza

Thies is a magical paradise, compared to my home stay village, where there is fruit, vegetables, and pizza. After a day spent hating myself while I learned about costing (aka indirect and direct costs), I got to go into town with my friends and sit in an air conditioned restaurant eating some pizza and drinking some beer. Gazelle beer tastes pretty good when you're in Senegal even though it's beer flavored water. The pizza, while also not actually good, tasted amazing. It was pretty much just a very flat crust with some cheese on it. Regardless of cuisine level the pizza and beer was a little slice of heaven.

I just hope this throw back to the US of A/ little band-aid for my homesickness doesn't make me physically sick. Everything here is a potential GI disaster, which we learned about in full detail this afternoon at our health training. I learned the PC definition of diarrhea, which is definitely different than our definition at home.

Diarrhea: 4 liquid (not loose) stools in 24 hours. Yeah, liquid. Gross. The other things they talked about were equally, actually, much more disturbing. A lot of skin infections and now I'm paranoid that what I'm praying is razor burn is not some weird skin thin. Ah! This is why girls don't shave their legs! Another note about health... you know you're a PC volunteer when you go into the health office and get a shot and leave without knowing what it was for. No idea. I just know it was shot #4 and that I have a couple more tomorrow.

As for additional work information, I feel better about the discussions I was able to have today with some of the PC staff, but my fears are not totally gone and I'm still really worried about being bored and completely unfulfilled. I'm going to take it a day at a time and I'm going to try and start studying for the LSAT. I forgot the charger for my kindle the last time I was at the village so I wanted to die without reading material, but hopefully studying will help with the boredom. I just need to figure out if the little successes when I'm at my post are going to be enough not only to sustain me, but also enough to leave behind my life in the US for the next two years.

I'm making great friends here, which is making it harder to keep my dreams, work expectations, and general life, in perspective as I try to figure everything out. But, it's also great because it is impossible to do this alone.

Shout out to Lindsay and her first day of Law School. Pretty cool. I'm sure she kicked ass. I hope everyone else is living it up in the USA.

Jeenaba (yeah, that's my sweet African name)


  1. i love your african name haha. glad to hear you got some decent does the beer compare to busch light? maybe i can mail you a case...the package will also include the cheesey bread man so he can make you some slices.

    ps law school was good - thanks for the shout out : )


  2. Hey!
    Sorry I've been stingy with the posts so far. I just started classes last thursday and I moved in the saturday before that so I've been busy organizing for this semester.
    I just caught up on all your posts this morning because mom thought it would be a great birthday present to call and wake me at seven in the morning. I don't have class til eleven. Well it was a good excuse read your blog anyway.
    I'm glad you found pizza and beer to salve your homesickness/withdrawl from western convenience. Diane is right, this is the hardest part, waiting for the project that will make it worth your while. Especially while you're watching people in other fields going at it right off the bat. Just remeber that none of their projects would be possible or able to last without *your* field and the great things you are undoubtably going to do in it. I think it will be worth the boredom and uncertainty right now.
    -or- you could just remember that you are Alyssa and you rock and let that assauge all your fears. or maybe you're Jeenaba and she's cool too (props on the african name btw).
    Anyway I just want you to know, for whatever it's worth, that I'm proud and impressed and maybe the teensist bit in awe of you right now. I have to admit that last christmas I didn't really think you'd go through with it and here you are hand scrubbing your clothes, shitting in holes and drinking shitty beer as if it were ambrosia.
    Yup, it's official, you rock.

  3. Alyssa,

    Glad you got pseudo beer/pizza. Very exciting. I'm praying for your GI tract.

    I've shared your blog with some of my friends at the office. We're all addicted. It's better than A&E's intervention right now.

    Hang in there friend. You'll make it. I know it's tough. I'll send letters soon!! Can you get magazines or will those be taken too? What can I send you besides letters that you'll actually get?