Yup, I'm actually doing it. I'm taking the plunge. Starting August 12th I will be in Senegal working as a Small Enterprise Development Volunteer with the Peace Corps.
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.
PCV Alyssa Titche Corps de la Paix B.P. 957 Thiès, Senegal West Africa
* Make sure it's "Par Avion" by Air and that there's a sticker * Please put insurance on packages and even letters because customs officers will rip open both looking for goods and cash * If you are amazing and sending me a package write "Religious Materials" or "Personal Products" on the outside to further deter customs officials, also it is best to buy a flat rate box to reduce the custom fees I have to pay on my end! * Number your letters so I know if I'm missing one as mail will probably take 2-3 weeks to get from you to me
I also have Skype so make me one of your contacts. My Skype name is: alyssatitche
Cell Phone! Call me on Skype! 221-77-330-48-40
Wish List: Goodies, Treats... and Necessities
100 Calorie Packs
Jiff Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter
Mixed CDs (Leigh and Alex sent one and it was AMAZING)