Tuesday, November 10, 2009


My computer class is really making progress. I walked in today and two women were already practicing the typing game! Granted one woman was playing solitaire, but even this was awesome because while the school has 5 computers they didn't have an extension cord so only two computers were plugged in, but they took the initiative to plug all the computers in because people are pumped about my class! The one woman who was playing solitaire has told me she's awesome at computers aka can turn them on and play solitaire, but when she heard the other women talk about the typing program I found she wanted to join the class too! Today I had four women and supposedly a fifth is going to come on Thursday.

The women are making real progress and their patience continues to impress me. I was originally worried that they would grow bored of the typing exercises quickly and want to revert to going online, which is definitely outside their skill range, but they are getting really into typing. The head secretary/ the woman who is obviously in charge, Mme Cissa, definitely practiced and is improving rapidly. She's already on the third level which is great. When she passed the second level today, she had a very high accuracy score and the program generated a little certificate that labeled her a "SUPERSTAR" she was so excited and all the other women were exceedingly jealous and the room got really quiet as they all concentrated. It's very rewarding seeing them make progress and have other women join the group because they see it as valuable training. Although I'm there mainly as a cheerleader and to press override key commands when the computers freeze, but I definitely still feel a sense of accomplishment and worth which is awesome.

Before my computer class I had tutoring which is still going well. Bossa, my tutor, is very nice and entertaining. It's definitely a change since the PC approach is very structured and the instructors are amazing, but Bossa is definitely helping and teaching me relevant vocab and the like. Today we talked about bargaining in the market, which is useful for me. He puts on these hilarious dialogues where he plays both parties and he gets really into it and I can't help but laugh. He wants me to come for 3 hours at a time so I'm awesome at Wolof, which is very generous, but my head would literally explode. I am going to go over there more and more since I'm planning on going to the villages less and less. He also wants me to help him in his garden... that will be interesting... I'm no green thumb.

Back at home no one is in a good mood at my casa. Jeenaba had two teeth pulled without any pain meds and was crying as she made dinner for everyone. I broke a cardinal rule of not giving out medicine, but I couldn't help myself. Her face is swollen and she was sitting over a gas crying. Some combination of a car, an airport, and someone being lost has my mom irate, one of my brothers is sick, and my dad can not stop talking about my work partner being late. My dad is now really into my work which is great and wants to make sure that everyone is on time for me... it's only polite. So a fairly interesting night and I'm trying to remain out of the fray.

Tomorrow I'm off to the village. Pray for my sanity.

1 comment:

  1. Alyssa,

    Congrats. It just shows that small steps can make a very large difference. It is great to have such an early success. I am sure it is only the beginning of future greater results.