Monday, September 28, 2009

Mystery Meat

September 26, 2009

Today we had our second language test and I think mine went fine. I can tell that my Wolof is progressing and we have another 3 weeks to improve before we swear in. To celebrate the end of the test/ to not eat ceebu jenn for lunch the five us went on a hunt for some delicious Senegalese street food. The choices in my home stay town are dibiteries, which are places that grill random meat, or restaurants which are all inevitably called Fast Food. Unfortunately our first Fast Food choice was closed and we went to our second. Again, we were disappointed because the chawarma wasn’t ready and wouldn’t be ready for another couple of hours. Typical Senegalese time delay. Nevertheless we continued ordering. I didn’t want a hamburger so I went for the sandwich as did Tamar.

Me: What type of meat is in the sandwich?
Waiter: It’s meat.
Tamar: Yes, we understand it’s meat, but what type of meat?
Waiter: Do you not know what meat is?
Me: Yes we know what meat is. Is it goat, sheep, or cow?
Waiter: It’s meat.

Tamar and I both order the sandwich which is meat (of the mystery variety…aka the best kind), onions, and French fries. It was delicious. The only problem with our little adventure was that the restaurant was so incredibly hot that sweat literally rolled off me the entire time we were there. Photographic proof of our adventure will be up shortly.

In an attempt to spend an afternoon without ceebu jenn or our families, we soldiered on in the extreme heat to the internet café. Unfortunately the awesome new internet café was closed for lunch (hours are never posted here) and we had to go to the crappy one, but my USB drive worked as did the internet browser so I can’t complain too much.

Tamar and I refused to go home so while the boys went home to nap we went to sit under our favorite baobob tree that is until some creepy old guy attempted to take Tamar into the tree for some unknown activity and we fled to our class for safety and cookies from the attached boutique.

The children that live near our classroom are the nice, not extremely rude and annoying variety that usually harass me as I walk around town so it’s fun to speak with them in Wolof since we can sound like idiots and they still have infinite patience for us. One thing that is really annoying is that everyone expects you to remember their name after one meeting. There are 50k people in my home stay town and 5 toubabs. That’s just not fair. So people we getting angry at me and Tamar for not knowing their names. And names are hard here. Most people’s name’s contain letter combinations that don’t exist in English and are incredibly hard to remember. To show the kids how hard it was for us we decided to give all the kids American names since we have Africa names. They love action movies here so we gave all the boys ridiculous names like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jean Claude Van Damm and the girls names such as Tiffany, Britney, and Jessica. It was hilarious. They couldn’t say their names let alone remember them. One little boy who we randomly named Bradley was incredibly confused and whenever we said a name he didn’t understand (aka an American name) he would run over thinking that we were calling him. Adorbable. Now, I actually know all these kids by name… or at least the random American name I gave them…oh well.

Back at the house I actually engaged in some conversation with my mom as I did my homework. I may be making progress on that front, but I don’t want to get too excited.

It’s raining now, which is amazing. It was shockingly hot today. Maybe I will get some good sleep tonight!

Question of the Day
Senegalese kid: Do you have clouds in the US?
Me: Yes.


  1. My roommate and I cracked up at your convo with the guy at the restaurant about the meat. That's kinda how it is here too. In class...
    Alex: So, can you buy turkey at the grocery store that is more than 4 slices/package?
    Hungarian: Yes... we have meat.
    And then it goes on.
    So glad to hear the language test went well.

  2. gosh Alyssa somehow the question of the day strikes me as such a poignant, sweet exchange. Take care of that little boy.