Sunday, November 15, 2009


Today was a great end to my first of what will hopefully be many great weeks here in Senegal. I slept in a little bit and lounged in bed reading until it started to get hot and I felt I had been sufficiently lazy. My only goal of today was cleaning my room, which is quite a task because I have to move everything out, clean the floor with a squat broom and rags, wait for it to dry, and then move everything back in. It's quite a production especially when every single member of my family has to come by to ask me what I'm doing and then give me a few pointers of my technique.

Everyone was really chill today and just taking it easy, which was exactly what I needed after my eventful and exhausting day yesterday. All the boys had mysteriously disappeared and all the girls were watching Survivorman in the living room. This is the only television show I actually enjoying watching here. Survivorman dubbed in French is actually hilarious and then my mom's reactions are priceless. She is completely disgusted that he eats bugs and especially that he's an American who eats bugs. Then everyone has to ask me if I eat bugs, which I don't.

As we were all sitting together, I let my family know that Jackie was coming over for the afternoon and that we were going to make dinner together. My family was interested in why Jackie was here today since my friends usually come over on Saturdays and I explained that she is having some additional language training in a nearby village. My mom was appalled. She was extremely worried for Jackie and didn't want her to go back to the village. It is incredibly interesting listening to my family talk about people who live in villages and the social hierarchy that exists in Senegal. I assured her that Jackie and I were going to cook a really good dinner and that if she needed to Jackie could always come back to our house. An offer which my mom readily extended to Jackie several times before she left.

When I told my mom we were going to cook an excellent meal I wasn't kidding. My real mom, the infamous Sharyl (yes, all of my friends are intimately acquainted with her through blog posts and my packages!), truly packed some delicious treats into a few of my packages. Some treats were just so good that I had to save them to eat with a friend. Since Jackie is headed back to the vil, I decided there was no time like the present to indulge... even though I'm staying in Thies and living the life. We started off our afternoon with a ridiculous pepper encrusted sausage, and ended with some gnocchi, spicy arrabiata sauce, and wine juiceboxes. I kid you not, my mom seriously figured out how to send all of this stuff to Africa. It was amazing! Especially when combined with magazines and some good old fashioned girl talk.

Today capped off an entire calendar week of good days. It's pretty exciting. I'm ready to get back to reality tomorrow aka walking around Thies and attempting to conduct my life in Wolof. This weekend was an excellent re-energizer and I'm ready to tackle the last ten day stretch before Thanksgiving and some more fun!


  1. What a wonderfully decadent day! Your week sounded great. I missed reading your blog all week, so I get to read it all at once. It's great that your dad agrees with you about being prompt for business. I had the impression that it wasn't an issue for anyone there. Horray for you.

    We're getting ready for Thanksgiving here. Hanukkah is less than 4 weeks away. I talked with Aunt Cindy today. She's all done with her shopping already and getting set to send you a package. I have a few things for you, but I'll wait a week or two before I send it off.

    Have many more great weeks.

  2. What can I say I am a patriot ready to serve the people on the frontlines. Italian antipasta, lovely knocchi and sauce are essential to troop morale. Wine juice boxes are a brilliant gift from the French! Knock em out Jackie! I'm sure Alyssa has some return from the vil snacks stashed in her pantry.

  3. hey man,

    glad to hear your week went well! sounds like you had some good adventures.

    i'm jealous of your wine juice boxes, i could use some of those out here.

    PS in case you missed a rather insane item on the jcrew website - check this out, the model and the whole thing just made me laugh


  4. Alyssa,

    I figured I should post something to prove that I really do read this on a regular basis...

    It's really great to see that you are feeling good about this past week, and I know that it will be one of many. And because some other weeks haven't been so great, you appreciated this one even more.

    Skype date soon please!


    PS I bought an uber cute Mac & Jac blouse - black with ruffles around the neck - because I'm trying to channel your style skills. It's a work in progress, but the blouse reminds me of you!