Thursday, September 3, 2009

Yellow Dress, Gray Day

August 31, 2009

I was feeling pretty low last night and this morning so I decided to try and make myself feel better by wearing the one nice piece of clothing that I brought to Senegal. It’s a bright yellow, Chloe, maxidress. And while I don’t like yellow or maxi dresses, I do like nice clothes so the Chloe label made me just a little bit happier. Plus, I got tons of comments on how everyone liked the bright color. Several people even asked me where I had it made so I fit into Africa fashion today. Go me! This is a definite upgrade from the capris/ long skirts and t-shirts I have been sporting.

Regardless of how bright and cheery my dress was, it didn’t help the day. It’s been raining all day long which is unusual for Senegal even in the rainy season. Usually it pours and storms for 20-30 minutes and then everything dries up. Not so today. In order to get to school this afternoon I had to tie my dress to the side and wade through HUGE puddles of water that came up to the middle of my shins. Very sanitary. Obviously the water has nowhere to go here and it takes a while to sink into the sand so there’s just standing water everywhere. I can’t wait until the new batch of mosquitoes hatches. Awesome. A driver and I actually had to go pick Tamar up on the side of the road because she has some soars on her feet that she didn’t want to put through the rank water. Fun times! It was actually just so incredibly ridiculous, wading through the stagnant/ rising water, that it put me in a better mood. You just have to laugh.

This afternoon we had the head of the language program stop by and she asked us about the class and our progress. I’m definitely feeling a little frustrations with the language since I think we’re moving a little slowly and it’s super repetitive. I mentioned that I think there’s a little bit of a double standard since we are supposed to be able to teach the Senegalese business skills in a way that they can understand. Their learning style. That’s not happening in our language class. It’s boring to do the same thing over and over again and just not how it happens in an American classroom where we do a bunch of different activities to learn the same thing. We’ll see if there are any improvements. I do enjoy learning the language even if the class is a little monotonous and at least it gives me something to do all day.

My grandma and Aunt Alice sent me a question about Africa’s smell. I cannot possibly write a long enough post of smells here. Just to start out… I smell all the time. It’s disgusting. It’s also interesting because I’ve had such a drastic change in diet that I’ve also had a pretty drastic change in BO and not in a good way. No matter how many times I re-apply deodorant or shower when I take a bucket bath before I go to bed I always gag when I smell myself. It’s bad. Luckily, everything/ everyone smells pretty gross all the time. There’s the smell of the animals and their poop all over, the smell of trash heaped in the streets, the smell of everyone’s BO, and the smells of fish frying/ boiling all the time. Surprisingly, you get used to it pretty quickly. My own lovely stench is actually the thing that bothers me the most.

Nothing else is very exciting here. I’m still deciding if PC is an amazing opportunity that’s going to change my life or if it’s just miserable and quite boring. We’ll see. In about 10 days I will get my job and site placement. I’m really looking forward to having a little more insight into my future. Then it will be easier to look ahead instead of just to tomorrow. By the way, days here feel like they’re 72 hours long. I feel like I’ve been here a year already. The slow pace is definitely going to take some getting used to.

And for those of you who have read carefully and are wondering if my room is actually fixed/ not leaking throughout this monsoon of a day then you are asking the right questions. And since I’m in Africa…. It’s obviously leaking again although not as bad! Yay! That’s a plus. I need to push my bed up against the door again. Boo. I’ll keep you updated on the leaking ceiling. Keep me updated on everything back at home.

Smellily yours,

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