Sunday, October 18, 2009

Last Night

Today wasn't all that interesting of a day. I woke up and had to say goodbye to almost everyone, which sucked. All the people leaving for Kaolack and Kadagou left this morning so there were only about 15 people left at the center today. Luckily, I only had to say goodbye to couple close friends this morning since Tamar, Jackie, and Katherine are all in my region and still here.

We spent the early afternoon at the market doing some shopping. Finding trunks where we can lock valuables was the major goal of the shopping expedition and we had absolutely no idea where to find them. Luckily, I made a Senegalese friend while we were walking through the market. Babacar is about 10 years old and was pumped to meet some American Peace Corps volunteers, was excited we could speak Wolof, and all about helping us try and find some trunks. After reverting to French to explain what a trunk is Bobacar led us through the maze that is the market looking for our holy grail. Like most Senegalese people, who never say no outright, Bobacar totally lied and told us he knew where to buy trunks. It was immediately apparent he had no idea where to find a trunk since he kept stopping to ask everyone he knew where the group of toubabs could find a trunk. We walked back and forth along one street several times before turning around and finding the saddest excuse for trunks I've ever seen. They were pretty much cardboard with the thinnest sheets of aluminum ever. They were crap. I could have broken into one with my hands. Plus the guy wanted to charge us an absolutely ridiculous price even though I was speaking in Wolof and I'm pretty awesome at haggling in the market. I have this whole routine of being really excited, using Wolof numbers which really impresses people, and walking away; I almost always win, but no deal this time. We ended up just buying a bunch of buckets and some silver wear, which is what I wanted anyway.

Since that was a fairly boring story, I will now regale you three wonderful stories about food. Food: the favorite topic of every PCV.

1. Yesterday, I was trying to condense and reorganize some of the packages I've gotten to make the move to my new site easier. I stumbled upon an individual pack of salsa and some chips my mom sent me. I immediately grabbed this delicacy, ripped open the salsa, and started shoving the delicious combo into my mouth. This was while crouching on my bed, in my room, alone. A few chips in I realized how very sad this was and decided to go give some Tamar and Jackie who were literally sitting right outside of our room. They were equally enamored with this glorious goody from the US and we finished the chips and salsa together. I licked the plastic container before I threw it away FYI. It is also common and completely acceptable to lick candy wrappers.

2. Biskrem. Biskrem are God's gift to Senegal by way of Algeria and are the most delicious cookies in the entire world. Biskrem single handedly kept me from losing more than the 10 pounds I've already lost while at the home stay. They come in a pack of 11 (yes, it's a weird number and Tamar only made the startling discovery of the odd number a few days ago) and are like Nilla Wafers with a chocolate center. In the village the chocolate is hard and the cookie a little soft aka stale, but still amazingly delicious. Tamar, Brian, and I would split at least one pack a day and it was probably more like 3 if I'm being honest. Regardless, we bought some at the toubab store in Thies and just experienced fresh Biskrem for the first time today and it was earth shattering. The cookie is supposed to be crunchy and the chocolate center creamy! This was an amazing discovery and the cookies tasted just that much better. For lunch Tamar, Jackie and I ate Biskrem coated in my Extra Crunchy Jiff peanut butter with a side of apples. I can not describe to you how delicious this was. You send me a package, I will send you Biskrem and you will understand what I mean when I say they are the best cookies in the world.

3. CHICKEN DIBI! Oh yes, I hit it up twice in one week and it was even better round 2. I love chicken dibi. It's great. The electricity worked the whole time tonight and we even got to wash our hands in the sink. You know that's a good night. And in case you're wondering I will be talking about chicken dibi every single time I go for the next two years because it's amazing.

I think that's a pretty good rundown of the day. Tonight is my last night at the center before I'm literally pushed out of the nest and out on my own. Am I ready? According to the Peace Corps yes; I passed all of my tests. According to me? I have no idea. I'm sure ridiculousness will ensue when I'm lost in translation and don't have my teacher to ask about culturally insensitive topics, but there's really nothing I can do about that. Plus, I'm a toubab. I can't really get all the much more ridiculous than I already am.

I will probably be internetless for the next couple of days until I go to an internet cafe/ get internet in my room, but send me loving emails in the meantime and wish me luck as I venture out into the the real world for the very first time...


  1. Alyssa,

    I am afraid that you may have lost your mind, or at least your memory. Are Biscreams really better than fresh double stuff Oreos? Some how I cant believe that.


  2. Can't be better than pecan pie bars
    or double stuff