Thursday, October 15, 2009


After everyone woke up early this morning only to wait for 2 hours for a meeting to occur that never happened, the day actually turned out fantastic.

Our homestay families came in around 1 to spend the day with us. My mom brought me my dress, which from the pictures you will see if bright green with rainbow trim detail, and it was so sweet. Although the dress may not be my favorite color and the rouging around the chest makes me look pregnant and/or breastfeeding the gesture was amazing. I didn't realize it right away, but my friends pointed out they tried to copy my yellow Chloe dress that I love so much and wear all the time. They are kind of similar and now the bright green makes more sense since that dress is bright yellow. My mom wanted me to put it on right away, which I did and we took a lot of pictures. Everyone kept complimenting me on the dress and it made my mom really happy. I gave her some more pictures that I had taken (the ones I put up of the family yesterday) and some of the magazines that you guys sent me and which I already read. My siblings absolutely love the magazines I've given them. They keep them in a special place in the house and bring them out every day to pour over the ads. They are completely in awe of perfume ads that have a scent.

Anyway, everyone ate lunch at the center and it was AMAZING!!!!!!! Chicken Yasa, which is a roasted chicken with white rice, some miscellaneous and tiny vegetables, and then an onion sauce. We have never had anything so delicious here. It was awesome. I had made the suggestion that we feed our Senegalese families some American food since we are subjected to interesting Senegalese dishes all the time. I thought it would be hilarious to serve something like Macaroni & Cheese, but that was vetoed and the Chicken Yasa was pretty delicious.

The afternoon was full of tea making (see video) and some incredible Senegalese entertainment. There were musicians, dancers, and toubabs dancing galor. The performances were really fantastic and amazing (see videos. It's really indiscribable so please look at the videos. It was a really fun experience and party to share with the rest of the people in my stage, my mom, and the rest of the family members from my home stay group. It was a little sad saying goodbye at the end. My mom might have actually been a little chocked up and I know that she had a really good time and was super excited about the pictures that I gave her.

It's starting to sink in that PST is really over and on Monday I'm going to be on my own. PC is going to drop me off and drive away. And that's terrifying. While PST was miserable and extremely difficult, it's also completely necessary and while I don't feel completely prepared to go to site at least I know I can communicate and at least get by. Tomorrow is our swearing in ceremony, which is really exciting. We get some great food in Dakar and I guess it's a good time. Followed by our last night together in Thies. So far we've been a group and there's safety in the group. I'm definitely intimdated to strike out on my own, but I'm also ready for some freedom and to cook some great food with all the goodies you guys have been sending me!

Please check out all the pictures and videos I posted. They are really cool and will paint a much better picture of my day than I ever could.

Other Random Ridiculous Things I've Forgotten to Mention:
1. Tamar and I wore the same outfit yesterday. Black top, Khaki pants. We didn't change. Everyone noticed and we didn't change. We will also be sporting matching complets tomorrow since we went to the same tailor.
2. My roommates and I ripped open my packages and promptly stood around a jar of peanut butter eating it with a spoon.
3. I will be wearing a headwrap tomorrow.

The pictures are uploading super slowly so check back this weekend for all things Senegal and to see my videos if I can't get them up tonight. Next week I will have my very own internet connection. Joy.


  1. Alyssa, Mazal Tov for staying sassy throughout the tough training. From now on it will be a piece of cake! You and Tamar are incredible and all of us are very proud of your strength and perseverance.

  2. congrats buddy! i like your new lime green dress :)

  3. I am so emotional about the incredible gift your family gave you. Of course the dress is a copy of the Chloe dress that you love. A tremedous amount of thought, care and discussion went into the design and production of this dress. You have been given something precious Alyssa. I thank god you are wise enough to understand that the gift wasn't just a dress.You received the gift with pride,graciousness and humility....good job! The Ba family has given tremendous gifts in the last 2 months.
    Oh BTW only half the population (female) feels that the rouging is a little "defining." The other half thinks it is perfect.
    You look amazing Bun and seriously, maybe the camera isn't completely accurate but I think the color is just fine.

  4. I was just looking through your pictures and I love the dress kytie is wearing with the green greater than less than signs. Is that normal senagalese fashion?