Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dakar Day

October 5, 2009

For some reason I thought that Dakar Day was going to be a very glitzy expedition filled with us snapping pictures while everything was wonderful. I did get to eat amazing falafel, chwarma, and ice cream, but the day wasn’t as interesting as I expected. I shouldn’t have expected so much. That said Dakar does seem really cool. We took a driving tour around the city and the coast and the views are beautiful. There are also two really cool islands right off the coast that I definitely want to visit. One is a national park and the other is an old slave trade hub. Since, Thies is the second biggest city in Senegal I wasn’t expecting that much more out of Dakar even though I had this glorified image of the day in my mind. While Thies has no buildings higher than three stories, Dakar does have some high rises and modern buildings. Dakar has a better city plan than I was imaging, but we really didn’t see much so these are my surface observations. I have a feeling I’ll be spending a lot of time in Dakar, all of the volunteers told me I’ll be spending a lot of time in Dakar, since I’m so close so I have a lot of time to explore. We can also sign up to have an ex-pat family home stay in Dakar, which will be amazing because I’m definitely signing up!

We spent most of our time in the Peace Corps office in Dakar. It was also really nice and surrounded by other aid organizations like the UN. We pretty much just sat through security briefings and other administrative things, which were interesting but not really anything to write about.

Back in Thies, we had chicken for dinner which is always wonderful and amazing and we found out that the first person from our stage is doing Early Termination (ET). While, it’s really sad to see anyone go because we are a group now and we stick together, I would like to give myself a huge pat on the back for sticking it out this far. There were without a doubt people thinking that the first person to ET would be yours truly, so go me. I’m actually feeling pretty good and confident right now. I’m going back to the village tomorrow, but for the last time! One more week and I’m done with the village, which is going to be a huge accomplishment. It’s definitely scary at the same time too though. We are going to be on our own soon. The safety of the group and the center will be gone and we’ll have to find our own way. PST has been hell, but it’s definitely necessary and prepares you for post. I’m looking forward to some freedom, a DRESSER, and cooking for myself.

The most entertaining part of my day came tonight as my roommates and I mourned the power outage at the center which caused the internet to crash by trying on each other’s horribly made Senegalese clothing. Tamar and I have had amazing dresses and skirts made in our home stay village and our thoroughly impressed with the tailors’ skills. Most tailors here can copy ANYTHING and are pretty good designers too, but in the smaller villages it seems like there can be some problems. Katherine has a pair of pants that are backwards. You may be asking, how can pants be backwards? Can’t you just turn them around? Well, the answer is no if they have pockets! These pants also have an incredibly low crotch and are super tight around the thighs! Hilarious. Jackie also has a funny pair of pants. The zipper is approximately a foot long and the legs are so tight you can barely get them on. You would have to be a giraffe with an extremely long crotch for these pants to fit. Obviously, you can tell that we are all in desperate need of entertainment. Trying on each others’ pants is now a pastime. Wah wah…

I think that’s all the news from Senegal. It’s still hot and humid, but at least my clothes finally dried after two days. Oh! I got a FOUR package slips today, but getting the package slips today means I don’t actually get the packages until I get back from the village in a week. Boo! At least I have FOUR packages and dinner at the infamous/ delicious chicken dibi place to look forward to after a week in the vil.

Until my next internet café visit…

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